Agoda: Thailand is the world’s most searched travel destination

Global travelers are more interested in Thailand than ever, according to the online travel agency Agoda. The Kingdom had a 500 percent surge in searches on the booking website in the first quarter of the year and was the subject of more searches than any other destination.

Potential travelers from the U.S. were the second most numerous to search for Thailand, Agoda’s statistics showed. Japan took the top spot and Singapore was number three. The travel agency said that interest in Thailand increased following the government’s moves to revitalize international tourism with initiatives such as Test & Go and Sandbox programs.

“The government has made great efforts to help streamline the booking experience for travellers gearing to get back out there, with Test & Go, Sandbox and Thailand Pass,” said Damien Pfirsch, Chief Commercial Officer of Agoda.

He noted that various public health measures have been overwhelming for many travelers, so Agoda had integrated processes to help visitors satisfy the requirements in its booking website. The goal, he said, was to reduce human error among those applying to visit.

Thailand has long been a global tourism success story. Tourism is essential to Thailand’s economy, accounting for roughly 10 percent of gross domestic product directly, and as much as 20 percent indirectly. Millions of Thais are employed either directly or indirectly in the tourism sector and countless businesses depend upon it.

This meant that restrictions on movements and entry during the darkest days of the pandemic inflicted a painful toll on many Thais. Some analysts and those who rely on tourism for their livelihoods feared the sector might not recover once the pandemic passed.

The Agoda findings are a strong indicator that Thailand’s appeal remains robust.

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