Quarantine-free travel sparks a flurry in APAC

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Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asia Pacific (APAC) region has had some of the tightest travel restrictions in the world. But with many countries and regions now opening their borders for the first time in two years, travel intent to the region has sharply risen in recent weeks. Sojern, a leading provider of digital marketing solutions for travel, shares travel trends and insights for a promising quarter ahead in APAC. What will happen in the coming months?

Hotel and flight searches are on the rise across APAC

Hotel and flight searches are on the rise across APAC
Hotel and flight searches are on the rise across APAC

Sojern’s recent data shows very positive trends emerging. Online searches for hotels and flights to the region have recorded exponential growth compared to the same period last year and suggest that recovery is upon us. Sojern has detected signs of strong desire to resume travelling to the region as soon as possible, especially from Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) travellers, up 177% year over year (YOY); APAC (+164%); and Latin America (LATAM; +15%), with smaller growth from Caribbean (+11%), Canadian and American (+2%) travellers.

The APAC destinations that are most attracting these travellers are Indonesia, Vietnam and New Zealand. With Bali recently reopening to vaccinated travellers, and a wide array of new hotels, restaurants and wellness offerings to take advantage of, it’s perhaps no surprise that Indonesia tops the list. Pre-pandemic Vietnam had a long-time vibrant backpacking scene which is set to continue following its reopening in March for international tourism after almost two years. The other countries and regions in the region making up the top 10 international hotel bookings are the Philippines, Singapore, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan and India.

Drilling down further, based on the past 30 days, international flight searches to South Korea (+157.1%), New Zealand (+149.3%), and Singapore (+138.5%) have seen the biggest month-over-month (MoM) increase, followed by Indonesia (+92.8%), Malaysia (+83.8%) and Taiwan (+57.8%), which is now gradually relaxing quarantine rules for all arrivals to the island. Countries and regions with more conservative reopening of borders, which include Japan (+50.9%), India (+29.0%) and Thailand (+11.0%), have demonstrated slower search growth during this period.

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