In Southeast Asia, Vietnam and Thailand are among the top 20 most attractive international destinations for summer 2023. The United States and Spain are leading the list.
ForwardKeys, the world’s leading travel data company, analyzed the numbers based on air travel passenger volumes to compile a list of the 40 most attractive international destinations for this summer.
Globally, the number of flight bookings for the summer (from July 1st to August 31st) is down by 23% compared to pre-pandemic levels (as of 2019) and up by 31% compared to the same period in 2022.
Scenery of Trang An, Ninh Binh
The top countries most visited by international tourists are led by the United States, attracting 11% of the total international tourists during the summer of 2023. Following closely are Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, France, Mexico, Germany, Canada, and Turkey.
In this list, Vietnam ranks 19th, following Thailand, the UAE, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, but ahead of Switzerland, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, and others. According to ForwardKeys, the number of air travelers to Vietnam during this summer is down by 28% compared to the same period before the pandemic and up by 12% compared to the same period in 2022. However, Thailand is down by 41% compared to 2019 and up by 11% compared to 2022.
In terms of the source market, the United States leads with an 18% share of scheduled flight ticket bookings. Next are Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, South Korea, China, Japan, Spain, and Italy.
For most countries, tourism numbers have seen double-digit growth compared to the previous year but have not yet reached pre-pandemic levels. The world’s largest source markets have shown more resilience, with the United States increasing by 17% compared to the previous year and only decreasing by 1% compared to 2019.
Other major source markets have seen slower recoveries: France is down by 17% compared to pre-pandemic levels, the UK by 20%, Germany by 21%, Italy by 24%, South Korea by 28%, Japan by 53%, and China by 67%.
Vietnam tourism welcomed nearly 8 million international visitors in the past 8 months
Asian tourism has recovered, with all three countries in the region ranking in the top 10 source markets. South Korea, China, and Japan are experiencing growth rates of at least three digits compared to 2022. Although China’s outbound tourism market was among the slowest to recover, it still ranks 7th due to its massive scale.
Olivier Ponti, Deputy CEO of ForwardKeys, noted: “Now, the world’s major tourism powerhouse, China, is beginning to revive. Looking towards the fourth quarter and beyond, including 2024, my optimism is growing. Currently, global flight bookings in the last three months of the year are only slightly behind 4% compared to 2019, and in the first three months of 2024, they are up by 3%. The most promising region in the fourth quarter is the Middle East, where flight bookings are up by 37% compared to 2019. Next is Central America with a 33% increase and the Caribbean with a 24% increase.”