In Thailand, strongest waves of interest seen for Krabi, Phuket’s Kathu

Searches for Thailand's beaches and islands surge; view from Phra Nang cave in Railay, Krabi province

Beaches and islands prove to be Thailand’s most powerful attractions for international travellers, with Krabi enteringTripAdvisor’s top five Thai destinations in terms of search traffic growth for the first time this year, after registering the highest increase at 41 per cent.

Krabi is followed by Kathu and Nai Yang in Phuket, at 37 and 31 per cent respectively. Tied in fourth place with a 10 per cent increase in searches are the cultural city Chiang Mai in the north and border city Hat Yai in the south.

Searches for Thailand’s beaches and islands surge; view from Phra Nang cave in Railay, Krabi province

As for visitor origin markets, China continues to contribute the highest percentage increase in search traffic on TripAdvisor, with a year-on-year increase of 30 per cent, outpacing the overall international average of four per cent. India and Indonesia followed in second and third place, with year-on-year search increases of 16 and 12 per cent respectively.

The largest sources of search traffic for Thailand are China, the US, UK, Australia and Russia. According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), China and Russia were also two of the largest contributors to Thailand’s inbound tourism and inbound expenditure in 1H2017.

Out of the top five inbound markets, Chinese travellers have the shortest planning lead-time of approximately 51 days and stay for nearly four nights. Russian travellers take around 60 days to plan a trip but stay the longest with approximately 11 nights per stay.

Travellers from US, UK and Australia stay for an average of six nights and take the longest to plan, with lead-times of 108, 102 and 82 days respectively.

On average, international travellers visiting Thailand start planning their trip 65 days in advance, and stay for almost five nights.

Among Chinese travellers searching Thailand, there was continued interest from second-tier cities of Hangzhou, Dalian and Qingdao. The surge in interest comes amid increasing disposable income in these cities and improved flight connectivity to South-east Asia.

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