Agoda insights revealed that Bangkok has surpassed Dubai as the most popular city destination among Indian travellers – other cities that followed include Pattaya, Singapore, and Bali.
The five most popular outbound markets are Thailand, the UAE, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
The updated popularity rank is based on Agoda’s booking data since November 10, 2023, the date on which Thailand started offering visa-free travel to Indian tourists.
The decision by Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia’s governments to relax their visa policies for Indian travellers appears to have positively influenced the booking trends, with South-east Asian markets and city destinations solidifying their position and even moving up the top booked destination ranking. More markets are opening their borders to Indian tourists, who now enjoy visa-free access to 62 countries, including several in South-east Asia.
The relaxation of visa restrictions is not just benefiting Indians travellers; different markets across Asia-Pacific 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, which 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.
Krishna Rathi, country director India, Sri Lanka, and Maldives, Agoda, stated: “The relaxation of visa norms seems to be an accelerator for India’s outbound travel landscape. More and more destinations are recognising India’s potential as a key source market.
“With Bangkok now leading over Dubai, and Pattaya rising in the ranks, it’s clear that South-east 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 travellers to go abroad and explore.”