This Chinese New Year, Asian travellers are flocking to Japan
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This Chinese New Year, Asian travellers are flocking to Japan

JAPAN has knocked Thailand off the top spot as the favourite destination for Asian Chinese New Year (CNY) travellers.

As Chinese New Year (CNY) celebrations begin this week, booking platform Agoda revealed Tokyo as the most travelled to Asian destination by Asian travellers for this year’s festivities, knocking Bangkok down to second place.

Bangkok held the title for two consecutive years as the favoured spot for CNY celebrations but lost its grip this year.


A person holds T-shirt for the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year of the Dog at Glodok market in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Feb 13, 2018. Source: Reuters/Beawiharta

Agoda’s booking data suggests that many Japanese won’t be celebrating with the rest of the foreign visitors in their capital this year, as 70 percent are taking advantage of this long weekend holiday and are themselves travelling to Bangkok, Seoul, and Pattaya.

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Japan has, in fact, claimed three spots on this year’s findings with Osaka taking third place and Kyoto claiming the ninth spot.

The lure of Tokyo’s proximity to nearby Yokohama Chinatown is a key factor in enticing CNY travellers. The district hosts spectacular two-week celebrations including a countdown party, traditional lion dance performances, parades and a Lantern Festival.

The majority of CNY travellers are hailing from Taiwan and account for 26 percent, closely followed by South Korea and Mainland China which totalled a combined 30 percent of the visitors to Japan this New Year.

Where’s everyone else going?

Hong Kong has nudged its way back to the top spot among Mainland Chinese tourists this year, while Bangkok slipped down to third. Thailand does feature three times on the list, along with other warm beach destinations such as Bali and Boracay Island in the Philippines.

Indonesians seem to be staying put this Chinese New Year and making shorter journeys to their very own beaches. Some 65 percent of locals are booking up beach breaks according to Agoda.


Men perform the lions dance ahead of Chinese Lunar New Year in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Feb 12, 2018. Source: Reuters/Samrang Pring

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Malaysians are following this stay-cation trend as well with Malacca and Penang taking top spots. Port Dickson and Johor Bahru also claimed eighth and tenth spots.

When it comes to CNY travel, it seems Singaporeans are eager to leave the concrete jungle. Nearby Batam Island in Indonesia has remained a firm favourite among Singaporeans for three years running.

Where are you heading this weekend to see in the Chinese New Year?