SINGAPORE, Jan. 18, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Insights from digital travel platform Agoda revealed that Bangkok has surpassed Dubai as the most popular city destination among Indian travelers. The updated popularity rank is based on Agoda’s booking data since 10 November 2023, the date on which Thailand started offering visa-free travel to Indian tourists. Thailand’s beach destination Pattaya also climbed the ranks, from fifth to third.

The decision by Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia’s governments to relax their visa policies for Indian travelers appears to have positively influenced the booking trends, with Southeast Asian markets and city destinations solidifying their position and even moving up the top booked destination ranking. An increasing number of markets are opening their borders to Indian tourists, who now enjoy visa-free access to 62 countries, including several in Southeast Asia.

The relaxation of visa restrictions is not just benefiting Indians travelers; different markets across APAC recently announced changes to their policies or are said to be considering further relaxations. Some of the most eye-catching changes were announced by China. The travel powerhouse recently announced a visa-free corridor with Thailand, as well as visa-free travel windows for visitors from France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Switzerland, Spain, and the Netherlands.  

For Indian travelers, Bangkok is now the top international city destinations, followed by Dubai, Pattaya, Singapore, and Bali. The five most popular outbound markets are Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

During a visit to India in 2023, Agoda CEO Omri Morgenshtern highlighted India as one of the most important markets for Agoda in the APAC region. In a LinkedIn post several months later, Morgenshtern revealed India to be the fastest growing outbound market on Agoda at the time.

Krishna Rathi, Country Director India, Sri Lanka, and Maldives at Agoda, stated, “The relaxation of visa norms seems to be an accelerator for India’s outbound travel landscape. More and more destinations are recognizing India’s potential as a key source market. With Bangkok now leading over Dubai, and Pattaya rising in the ranks, it’s clear that Southeast Asia’s allure is growing stronger. The fact that many of these destinations can now be visited without having to worry about the paperwork will likely encourage even more Indian travelers to go abroad and explore.”

Agoda, offering over 3.9 million holiday properties, flights, and activities that can be booked together, is at the forefront of making travel easy and accessible. For Indian tourists looking to explore these top destinations, Agoda’s platform provides an ideal gateway for a hassle-free and memorable travel experience.

Notes to Editors

About the data

Ranks are based on Agoda booking data between 10 September 202309 November 2023, and 10 November 202309 January 2024.

About Agoda

Agoda, a digital travel platform, helps anyone see the world for less with its great value deals on a global network of 3.9M hotels and holiday properties worldwide, plus flights, activities, and more. Agoda.com and the Agoda mobile app are available in 39 languages and supported by 24/7 customer support.

Headquartered in Singapore, Agoda is part of Booking Holdings (Nasdaq: BKNG) and employs more than 6,900 staff in 26 markets, dedicated to leveraging best-in-class technology to make travel even easier.