India and Thailand score high travel searches

BANGKOK, 11 May 2022: If internet searches are a measure of travel intentions, then India and Thailand are high up the chart of destinations on the must-see list.

That’s according to the latest Visa Global Travel Intentions Study released late last week and based on average monthly search data collected in 2021.

Visa calls them the most desirable and attractive destinations identifying the US in the number one spot, followed by the UK in second place, India in third and Thailand fourth. Australia takes the fifth spot, followed by Canada (6), Singapore (7), Germany (8), South Africa (9) and Malaysia (10).

India and Thailand scored the highest search percentage of all the Asian destinations on the top 10 list. India registered 10% of the average monthly searches and Thailand 8% compared with 31% for the US and 30% for the UK, the two top destinations. Singapore generated 3% and Malaysia 2%. Australia generated 6% of the searches, followed by Canada at 4%, Germany and South Africa both at 2%.

Based on average monthly search data and searches that signalled an intent to travel, the Visa study explores 7,000 keywords ranking low travel intent, essentially dreaming and gathering information and high intent when searches move up a notch to focus on how to get to the destination. 

All of the top 10 destinations shared high scores for the travel intention to escape and relax, identifying it as the top motivator. Other strong motivators across the board included leisure pursuits, experiencing local culture and outdoor adventures. 

India’s escape and relax options motivated a 38% score, the category’s highest in all the 10 countries. The country’s local cultural experiences motivated 26% of the searches and leisure pursuits 13%.

Thailand’s escape and relax scored 25% of searches, but leisure pursuits scored a higher 30% and outdoor activities 18%. Local cultural experiences scored a lower 13%.

The bottom-line advice from Visa for travel companies in any of the top 10 destinations is “to prepare for an influx of travellers as borders reopen.”

Visa group country manager for regional Southeast Asia Serene Gay commented: As borders reopen and international travel gradually resumes, it’s important that travel-related businesses are ready to accommodate tourists and their new post-pandemic preferences, including the ability to make safe, contactless digital payments. This will be key in creating business momentum and allowing businesses to thrive in the future.”

(Source: Visa Global Travel Intentions Study December 2021)

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