WANDERING around the world on one’s own tends to exude loneliness, but in Malaysia, more tourists are ignoring that stigma by travelling solo, an online travel agency has said.
Renowned travel site agoda found that travellers in the Southeast Asian country are increasingly going around with no one else in tow as booking data shows a 50 percent increase in one-person bookings since 2016.
The growth of solo travel in Malaysia is trending towards domestic travel — domestic solo bookings grew at more than twice the rate (62 percent) compared to international solo bookings (27 percent), the company said.
Kuching, which sits Northwest of Borneo, was identified as a popular destination for solo travel, growing by 53 percent in 2017 amongst Malaysian solo travellers.
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Andrew Edwards, agoda’s Global Director for Brand and Communications, said: “Less than a two-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur, Kuching is the perfect destination for Malaysian solo travellers looking to experience an island getaway without venturing too far.
Known for its expansive national parks with plenty to explore, the Sarawak region of Borneo provides the perfect escape from Peninsula Malaysia minus the language barrier of overseas travel, Edwards said in a statement.
A gorgeous sunset over Kuching River. Pic: Peter Gronemann/flickr
Elsewhere in Asia, Taiwan was identified as the top growing overseas destination for Malaysian solo travellers, with 41 percent growth in 2017.
With its capital of Taipei only a four-and-a-half-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur, plus the reputation of friendly locals, Taiwan is the ideal destination for Malaysian solo travellers looking to immerse themselves in a new culture, agoda said.
Other popular international destinations for solo travellers from Malaysia include Japan which experienced a 30 percent growth in 2017, Thailand (37 percent) and Indonesia (38 percent).
“The increasing number of solo travellers reflects the undeniable shift occurring in the travel industry,” agoda said.
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Google trends reports solid growth in interest in solo travel over the past 10 years, with July 2017 seeing the most searches for ‘solo travel’ ever on Google.
“As the far-flung corners of the world are becoming easier to reach, travellers are more willing to experience destinations with the freedom that comes from travelling alone, allowing them to fully immerse themselves amongst a new culture,” Edwards said.
“Solo travellers can completely absorb the culture of their chosen destination and make choices based on their own preferred experiences, creating a whole new sense of freedom.”
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