Thailand’s love affair with Japan


BANGKOK, 5 July 20218: Agoda, a popular online travel agency (OTA), identified the top trending summer travel spots for Thais in 2018, based on user searches and bookings.

Driven by a visa exemption Thai visits to Japan have grown significantly this year. Three of the most popular destinations booked by Thais out of the top 10 destinations visited were in Japan, according to Agoda.

Hokkaido’s capital, Sapporo, with its summer entertainment – food, music and beer festivals – grew by 37%, and saw the mountainous hotspot become the eighth most popular destination for summer getaways, edging out domestic favourite Samui Island in this summer’s top-10.

Tokyo remains the most popular international destination and the second most booked spot for Thais after Bangkok, which continues to appeal to travellers from Thailand’s provinces.

Similarly, Osaka is a perennial favourite in the top-10, growing 21% this year and maintaining its position as ninth most-booked summer destination for Thais.

Domestic locations also ranked well representing five of the top-10 destinations visited by Thais. The bustling metropolis of Bangkok is, unsurprisingly, the most booked destination for Thais, and showed a 25% increase in bookings over 2017.

Chiang Mai with its chilled-out vibe, cooler summers and stunning landscapes, moved from sixth to fifth most-booked summer destination. Thailand’s beaches also remain increasingly popular with Pattaya in third position, Hua Hin/ Cha-am in fourth and Phuket in sixth.

Thai summer travel facts:

  • Bali saw the biggest growth in bookings among Thais, with 48% more in 2018 than in 2017, leaping from 22nd to 14th most popular destination.
  • Bangkok residents identified Tokyo as their number one summer holiday destination.
  • Beach destinations appear to be growing in popularity, with Bali (48 %), Krabi (43%) and Pattaya (42%) showing the most year-on-year growth.

Top 10 destinations for Thai travelers in summer

Ranking Destination 2017 Destination 2018
1 Bangkok, Thailand Bangkok, Thailand
2 Tokyo, Japan Tokyo, Japan
3 Pattaya, Thailand Pattaya, Thailand
4 HuaHin/ Cha-am, Thailand HuaHin/ Cha-am, Thailand
5 Phuket, Thailand Chiang Mai, Thailand
6 Chiang Mai, Thailand Phuket, Thailand
7 Singapore, Singapore Singapore, Singapore
8 Hong Kong, Hong Kong Sapporo, Japan
9 Osaka, Japan Osaka, Japan
10 Samet, Thailand Hong Kong