The top 3 trending international destinations for U.S. travelers right now are all Asian hotspots: Shanghai, Taipei, and Chiang Mai.
Expedia Group also predicts that Asia Pacific is the region to watch for a big comeback with tourists this year.
But why is Asia suddenly the next big thing for Americans’ summer travel?
Because They Can!
Asia was arguably the slowest corner of the world to re-open for international tourism. Now, it's making a comeback.
Almost the whole world has opened its borders to international tourists again. Over 200 countries are now fully open to vaccinated travelers from all over the world; 13 of these are ASEAN countries.
After years of patchwork openings and frequent entry requirements flip-flopping in Asia, it makes sense that Americans are just now jumping at the chance for a fully secure holiday here.
No expensive testing, time-consuming quarantining, or regional restrictions. It’s sunny skies and smooth sailing for Pacific vacations this summer.
For Bigger Trips
Flight prices have been skyrocketing since 2022, especially for long-haul trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic journeys. According to Hopper, flight prices to Europe are up 35% from last year, while those to Asia are up 23%.
For U.S. travelers looking for overseas trips, longer multi-country holidays make the most of increasingly expensive airfare.
This is the first summer that almost all ASEAN destinations are on the same page about welcoming international travelers with open arms. (The notable exception, of course, is China, which is still planning to fully reopen for international tourism by the end of summer).
Americans can finally visit multiple neighboring Asian countries easily and reliably on the same trip.
A recent American Express report shows that travelers are planning to spend more time and money on travel in the coming months of 2023 than ever before, with a focus on unique experiences.
89% of travelers want to jet off to destinations they’ve never been to before.
Because The Timing Is Just Right
While many Americans have had their eye on newly opened Asia since winter 2022, the time wasn’t yet right for a long multi-country trip.
Months off from school and culturally accepted time off from work during the summer make an extended holiday possible in the June-August period. What’s more, airlines are just now catching up to the cautiously renewed demand for US-Asia routes.
Because Europe Is Predictably Overcrowded
Americans are clamoring for international trips this summer but are concerned about another record-breaking European summer.
According to a recent Destination Analysts report, 31% of U.S. respondents are leaning towards international travel over a domestic trip.
Many travelers have already tested the waters with domestic travel and international travel to nearby destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Now, it’s time to finally let out the pent-up travel bug with big overseas trips.
Travelers are being bombarded by forecasts and news articles about how packed and expensive Europe will be this summer. We also can’t forget that plenty of Americans already experienced disastrously overcrowded European airports last summer and don't want a repeat of that mayhem.
Tourists are listening, learning, and looking to Asia for a chance at a calmer holiday.
Because Online Work Is Driving Travel Trends
The majority of major travel trend reports this spring have cited the power of blended business and leisure (or “bleisure”) trips.
Internet infrastructure, well-established international business hubs, high safety levels, good weather, and beach access make Asia a top choice for “bleisure” trips.
So, Which Asian Destinations Are Trending?
Last month’s data from Trip.com shows high search demand for long-time favorite destinations in Asia like Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong.
Since Japan fully reopened its borders to international tourists last year, Tokyo has been a consistent favorite for Americans booking and searching for travel.
Countries like Taiwan and Thailand are so hot that they're beating out European favorites as top trending international destinations for this season, according to Hopper.
It all adds up to Summer 2023 being a great time to head East.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.