Malaysia, 23 January 2024 – Booking data by digital travel platform Agoda reveals Malaysia as one of the three most popular destinations to celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year festivities. Malaysia ranks just behind Japan and Thailand. Additionally, Bangkok stands out as the most favoured international city destination for this one of the region’s biggest holidays of the year.
Agoda’s booking data highlights Singapore, Brunei, China, Indonesia, and South Korea as top inbound markets to Malaysia respectively, marking China’s return as a top-five source market for the first time since 2019. The five most popular destinations visited within Malaysia are international favourite Kuala Lumpur, followed by Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Malacca and Penang.
Although officially celebrated on Saturday 10 February 2024, the Lunar New Year holiday is extended to a long weekend in many markets across Asia and week-long celebrations for China, Japan (Spring Holiday) and Vietnam (Tet). The holiday, also referred to as Chinese New Year, is traditionally one of the peak travel moments for tourists from mainland China. For the first time since 2019, China is back in contention, ranking third source market overall and securing a spot in the top-five inbound lists for Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Malaysian travelers themselves are also exploring diverse destinations abroad, with Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea being the top choices. Among the highly sought-after international destinations for Malaysian travelers, the top choices consist of a captivating trio of Thai cities, with Hat Yai, Bangkok, and Krabi claiming the top three spots. Bali and Seoul follow closely behind in the list of preferred destinations.
Enric Casals, Associate Vice President Southeast Asia at Agoda, commented, “The Lunar New Year period is a significant time for travel, and this year is no different. Since 2019, hotels and destinations have diversified the appeal of their markets with visa-free travel and other incentives. That has made them less reliant on one market and more appealing to new travelers. But the travel industry will no doubt be looking forward to welcoming back more travelers from China this year.”
Regionally, the trends echo a similar sentiment. The most outbound travelers hail from markets like South Korea, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, and Japan. The most visited markets by these international tourists include Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam, showcasing a wide array of cultural and leisure options. Cities like Bangkok, Tokyo, Seoul, and Osaka remain appealing, underscoring the region’s rich urban and cultural diversity.
Agoda’s platform, offering over 3.9 million holiday properties, flights, and activities, is ideally positioned to cater to these evolving travel preferences, providing seamless experiences for those celebrating the Lunar New Year, whether within Malaysia or across the region.