Lesser-known Asian destinations see sharp spike in Chinese travelers
It seems that Chinese travelers have had a change of preference as more and more of them now prefer to go travel on their own instead of droving in packs, and somehow take less visited destinations in Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines, instead of the most checked out sites in these areas.
Andy Edwards, Global Director of Brand and Communications at Agoda, said, “It is wonderful that more Chinese travelers are planning their own trips and exploring so many new places in Asia.”
Now, the buzzing question goes like this. What are the new places that these independent Chinese travelers explored last year? Agoda has come up with a list of the 10 Asian destinations that experienced the highest increase in bookings from 2014 to 2015. Here, we didn’t arrange them by percentage increase; instead, we grouped them by country.
Asahikawa, Japan: In February, Asahikawa celebrates the annual Asahikawa Winter Festival. It is a Japanese-style winter wonderland similar to the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. Hokkaido’s second largest city also has its popular Asahiyama Zoo that is inhabited by leopards, polar bears, penguins, and even wolves. The zoo contributed to 204% increase in bookings to Asahikawa.
Yufu, Japan: Adventure seekers go to Yufu for its hot springs. The mountain town has a posh town center that’s good for shopping, strolling and snacking. Yufu has experienced a 239% year-over-year increase in bookings.
Nagoya, Japan: Those who love to see the culture of a place visit Nagoya for its wonderful museums (e.g. Nagoya Boston Museum of Fine Arts) and for its local cuisine such as specialties like miso katsu (pork cutlets in red miso sauce). One of Japan’s five largest cities, Nagoya has taken in more travelers with its 187% increase in room occupancy.
Beppu, Japan: If you’re the type who want to experience something different like being covered with mud from head to toe, then Beppu is the place to be. It is one of Japan’s best hot springs resorts. There’s different types of baths here including steam baths, mud baths, and sand baths. And after all the steam, try out some naturally steamed food. Beppu has had a 161% increase in bookings.
Nagano, Japan: What served as the host of the 1998 Winter Olympic Games didn’t just experience a 142% increase i bookings for its Olympic allure. Its mesmerizing mountain temples like the Togakushi Shrine and timeless museum like the Togakure Ninpo Museum where one can try throwing stars are the most visited in Nagano.
Takayama, Japan: Getting a bookings boost of at least 142% is Takayama which is a great place for budget travelers. Its annually held Takayama Autumn Festival is a must-see for its spectacular celebration. Expect to see beautiful floats and a Shinto procession.
Krabi, Thailand: Krabi,, which experienced a 142% increase in bookings, is a good jump-off spot for the popular beaches situated nearby such as Koh Lanta and Railay Beach. Some rewarding activities to do here include visits to charming wats, day trips to national parks, and curry feasts at the Maharaj Market.
Koh Lanta, Thailand: Although Phuket and Koh Samui are inarguably Thailand’s most popular islands, Koh Lanta is beginning to change the game as it has experienced a 219% jump in Agoda bookings last year. Thailand just got one more beach taking international attention. The things you can do here include having day trips via the AndamanSea to awesome sanctuaries like Koh Phi.
Nha Trang, Vietnam: Vietnam also has one place that has received a big spike in Agoda bookings. Tourists in Nha Trang check out its crescent-shaped, white-sand beach surrounded by turquoise-colored waters and postcard-perfect landscapes. You may also visit the Po Nagar Cham Towersand Long Song Pagoda which are Buddhist attractions.
Dumaguete, Philippines: And of course, the Philippines has its fair share of increasingly popular new attractions, one of which is Dumaguete in the Visayas region which is a perfect spot for divers, whale-watchers, and culture travelers. Dumaguete has experienced the highest jump in Agoda bookings with an amazing 805% boost! That’s almost quadruple the increase in bookings experienced by Yufu in Japan!
This finally concludes the list of Asian destinations which have experienced the highest increases in tourist arrivals. Which one would you visit in your next trip?