This month Thailand introduced long-stay visas, allowing wealthy and high-income foreigners to stay in the country for up to 10 years to boost the economy and tourism. About 400 people applied for the visa in the first 12 days, indicating considerable demand.
At the same time, Japan opened its doors to welcoming foreign visitors on self-guided tours booked through registered travel agencies. It also increased the total number of arrivals per day to 50,000 and lifted the requirement of pre-arrival testing for people who have received three doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
This appears to be an excellent opportunity for travelers to dust off their luggage and gear up for the upcoming holiday season somewhere different from where they have stayed for the last two years.
As Thailand suspended the Thailand Pass program in July and the pandemic receded, digital travel platform Agoda recently revealed that Thai travelers’ favorite vacation destinations are popular spots in Asia and Europe.
According to Agoda booking data collected from May to August 2022, South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, France and the UK are the top five destinations for Thai travelers. With travel restrictions almost fully eased, Bangkok is one of the most popular cities this year, offering vibrant nightlife, beautiful temples, unique culture and a variety of dining options.
The other five Asian treasures are Jeju Island, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo and Seoul. Pattaya also ranks eighth among the top 10 travel destinations, famous for a variety of things including its stunning beaches, wonderful food and beautiful hotels.
“We are seeing international travel making a comeback this year as travel restrictions have been eased, proving that over the last two years people have been looking forward to traveling internationally. Travelers make the most of vacations and are eager to visit both domestic and international destinations in Asia. Rekindling memories and going back to places they once enjoyed seems to be trending this summer,” said Omri Morgenshtern, CEO of Agoda.
Travel recreation trends extracted from the World Travel & Tourism Council report for 2022 showed that Bangkok is the top destination in Asia-Pacific for visitors from the US and UK, and ranked in the top 3 in all regions this summer heard worldwide. With a total of 2 million arrivals, Indian tourists are the most likely to return to Thailand, followed by Indonesians, Singaporeans, French and Swiss.
Singaporeans are the most frequent visitors to Malaysia, followed by Thailand and Indonesia, while Americans’ top three destinations in Asia Pacific are Bangkok, Manila and Tokyo. Australians are the most frequent international visitors to Bali, followed by holidaymakers from Singapore, Korea and India.
As travel rebounds, American Express Credit Card released the 2022 Global Travel Trends Report, which examines the motivations and considerations of travelers in Australia, Canada, Mexico, Japan, India, the UK and the US, and trends shaping the future of travel shape.
Today, travelers are prioritizing beneficial behaviors like wellness activities, giving back to communities, and protecting the environment. They spend more time thinking about who and what they are traveling for, with 78% wanting to have a positive impact on the city they visit.
Top activities visitors want to do to help the community include eating out and shopping at small businesses (55%), visiting a landmark or heritage site (42%), touring a national park (40%), Browsing at a farmers market (37%) and participating in cultural tours or museum visits (36%).
In recent years, travelers have paid more attention to the environment and sustainable tourism to help reduce global warming and waste problems. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has taken another step towards expanding carbon-neutral tourism in line with the government’s Bio-Circular-Green Economy Model.
Under the concept of Adjust, Reduce and Compensate, it has with Tham Suea Community in Phetchaburi, Rimklong Homestay Community in Samut Songkhram, Rai Jai Yim Farm Stay in Kanchanaburi, Rai Khuean Rang Farm Stay in Nakhon Ratchasima and Thai Tawee Pomelo Garden in Nakhon, Pathom worked together to develop a program of low-carbon leisure activities where visitors can learn about local lifestyle, culture and smart farming for sustainability.
To reduce their carbon footprint, all products and services are revised and carbon footprint estimated to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in a predictable and automated way. Part of the proceeds from the sale of services or products are used to support CSR activities. For example, if a coconut sugar mill emits CO2, we could compensate by planting five trees in a community.
As people start to travel again, Thailand remains one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. As travelers’ attitudes towards the environment have changed, it’s time to expand low-carbon tourism. However, everything should start with ourselves.