Travellers are looking for new experiences to celebrate the start of 2022. Famous cities remain hot destinations but the travel trend to ‘escape’ to more off-beat nature or beach destinations dominates this year’s New Year’s Eve plans, according to data from digital travel platform, Agoda. Furthermore, travellers are choosing luxury to ring in the New Year this year too.

Asia wide, capital cities and well-known vacation spots continue to dominate each market’s top destinations for New Year’s Eve. In India, Goa, New Delhi, and Mumbai retained their spots in the top three, with New Delhi surpassing Mumbai as the second most popular travel destination, while Goa retained its pole position.

The ‘French capital of India’, Pondicherry, jumped in popularity this year and surpassed Chennai to make its way to the top 5. The data also shows that there are many newcomers who joined this year’s top 10 list – Andaman and Nicobar Islands (7), Udaipur (8), and Manali (10).

Looking at the rest of Asia, while Bangkok returned to Thailand’s number one spot, world class beach destinations like Bali (Indonesia), Cebu (Philippines), Pattaya (Thailand), Jeju Island (South Korea), and Penang (Malaysia) made it to the list with partygoers this year taking advantage of the lifting of restrictions to be more adventurous and exploring further. Agoda’s data shows that across many markets there are many newcomers to this year’s top ten, including coastal destinations Batam Island (Indonesia, 10), and Kenting (Taiwan, 10). Lush green mountains and scenic destinations including Khao Kho (Thailand, 9), Bohol (the Philippines, 8), and Ninh Binh (Vietnam, 10) also gained in popularity. In Vietnam, Sapa and Dalat knock Hanoi out of this year’s top three.

Another dominant trend across most of Asia is that of travellers taking care of themselves after on-and-off lockdowns this year. According to data by Agoda, the preference for 4-5 star hotels has grown even stronger, with Taiwan and Thailand travellers upgrading to 4-5 star hotels, from 1-3.5 star accommodation for New Year’s Eve this year, joining Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, and Vietnam travellers who continue to choose 4-5 star venues to celebrate the arrival of 2022. In India, however, 1-3.5 star hotels remain popular among travellers, reflective of trends in 2020.