The Philippines recorded the highest number of international flight bookings to Southeast Asia during the first quarter of 2022 followed closely by Thailand. Research from technology firm Travelport showed the region’s two most popular travel spots accounted for more than half of all bookings in the first three months of this year.
“For the first quarter of 2022, international flight bookings to Southeast Asia overall have increased and have showed upward trajectory with the Philippines taking the lead by achieving 42 percent of its international bookings in the first quarter of 2019 prior COVID-19 pandemic,” Travelport noted. “The Philippines and Thailand were among the earliest countries in Southeast Asia to reopen their borders, and travelers are already clamoring to visit.”
Manila, Singapore, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta were the top five destinations to visit. Individual travelers made up the majority of bookings with Travelport reporting this group has many different reasons to head to Southeast Asia.
“The top five countries traveling to Southeast Asia are the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea. Solo travelers made up 44 percent of international flight bookings for the first quarter of 2022 to date, by far the largest traveler segment, which may be comprised of returning business travelers, flexible tourists whose bags are packed the moment borders reopen, and Southeast Asian expats who are eager to return home without enduring a once mandatory quarantine,” Travelport explained.
The Philippines began welcoming travelers in early February with visitors only required to present a recent negative COVID-19 test along with proof of vaccination. Meanwhile, Thailand scrapped COVID-19 testing for vaccinated arrivals and got rid of its Test & Go program at the start of May. Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam have all reopened their borders to vaccinated visitors which means most of Southeast Asia’s most popular travel spots are now open.