The combination of the cherry blossom season, visa-free travel and cheap flights have propelled Japan to become the leading destination for Thai travellers during the upcoming Songkran period, traditionally a peak outbound travel period for Thailand as travellers make use of the long holidays during the annual water festival.
Mongkol Thitawannoned, manager of Miracle Time Travel, observes more Thai travellers heading abroad during Songkran this year, with 60-70 per cent of its tours booked for the holiday period.
Japan and South Korea are hot favourites for their cherry blossom season, while Italy and France are popular for longhaul Thai travellers, he shared.
“Most customers booked medium-haul tours of around five days, four nights, while others take holidays for as long as their companies allow during Songkran,” Mongkol said.
Veeraya Veerasupakarn, a planning staff of H.I.S. Thailand, told TTG Asia that the top outbound destination for Thai travellers is still Japan and the company's group tours to Japan are fully booked.
“During Songkran, most of our customers chose six-day, four-night tour packages while others would not holiday beyond five days according to the national public holiday calendar,” Veeraya said.
And even as Japan is seeing more FITs from Thailand, the revenue for H.I.S. - which focuses on Japan tours - has not declined as the agency also offers other products such as flight ticket and hotel reservation to customers, she added.