Expedia reveals demand drivers and rising markets to Thailand

Bangkok was the top tourist destination by arrivals for the third consecutive year

China and India continue to be big drivers of Expedia Group’s Thailand bookings, while the UAE, Israel and South Africa are emerging as high-value markets according to the group’s data.

Thai accommodation partners are enjoying steady growth as evidenced by Expedia Group’s data, which showed the overall inbound demand to Thailand has increased by 10% year-on-year over the past 12 months.

Based on demand generated by Expedia Group’s extensive portfolio of travel brands, the US remains as the largest market to Thailand, with demand growing by 20% year-on-year.

China now is the second largest market to Thailand, surpassing Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea for the first time in the past two years.

Alongside China’s strong performance, India also upped its game, moving up three ranks to gain a place in Thailand’s top 10 international markets.

Notably, Chinese and Indian travellers show growing appetite for premium accommodation – more than 60% of the bookings made by Chinese, 55% of bookings made by Indians were for four- and five-star hotels.

This trend is in line with the Thai government’s focus to attract more high-end arrivals from China and India.

In terms of popular destinations, Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya are the most visited cities among Chinese and Indian travellers.

Hua Hin (110%), Koh Phi Phi (100%) and Koh Lipe (100%) are rising markets with Expedia seeing triple-digit demand increase during the same period.

In particular, the data uncovered that Chinese travellers are the driving force behind the strong demand for packages into Thailand – almost one in three international package bookings were made by Chinese. China is also the fastest growing market for packages as demand skyrocketed by 200% year-on-year.

India is trending in the same direction, with package demand up by 160% . Other markets tracking triple-digit growth in package demand include Ireland (130%), South Korea (120%) and Indonesia (100%).

Diving deep into some new emerging international markets that showed impressive growth momentum, Expedia Group confirms that the UAE, South Africa and Israel are the new high-end markets that hoteliers should capitalise on.

Travellers from these markets typically spend 15% more on accommodation and stay one day longer than the average international counterparts. Moreover, a whopping 70% of the total bookings made by these nationalities were in four- and five-star hotels where travellers paid 50% more on daily accommodation.

Accommodation partners wanting to capture this new stream of high-value travellers need be aware of the peak seasons, Expedia advised. The OTA’s data showed that UAE travellers prefer travelling from June to September and December to January, while both Israeli and South Africa travellers prefer travelling from December to February.

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