Thailand’s domestic travel bounces back

Airbnb has observed a surge in domestic bookings in Thailand, with the number of reservations rebounding to pre-Covid levels, up 13 per cent from last year.

With travel slowly resuming in Thailand, domestic travel is trending to nearby destinations. Top domestic destinations from May 12 to June 10 in Thailand include Bangkok, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Phetchaburi, with travel to non-urban destinations comprising 45 per cent of bookings, based on recent booking data.

Airbnb bookings show a surge in domestic bookings across Asia-Pacific, including Thailand; tourists visiting Wat Saket temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand pictured

Across other markets in Asia-Pacific, domestic travel is also on the rise, with Airbnb seeing a surge in bookings in the last month in Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Japan. In May 2020, over 60 per cent of all bookings on Airbnb were for listings in non-urban destinations.

Between May 18-24, there were more nights booked for domestic travel on Airbnb globally compared to the same period in 2019. From June 5-7, for the first time since February, year-over-year growth in gross booking value (not including cancellations or alterations) has increased for all Airbnb reservations made around the globe.

Tapping into the demand for nearby trips, Airbnb said it will be updating its app and homepage to feature local trip ideas and nearby getaways.

Kum Hong Siew, regional director (Asia-Pacific), Airbnb, said: “We are already seeing early positive signs of domestic travel getting ready to make a comeback, driven by locals booking holidays that are closer to home. This latest data reinforces our belief that travellers increasingly are looking for more local, authentic and affordable experiences.

“Tourism is a key driver of economic growth in Thailand and it will play an important role in overall recovery. We are committed to working hand in hand with governments, tourist agencies, communities and other key local stakeholders in Thailand to help restore travel in a responsible way that economically benefits local citizens and small businesses, paving the way towards tourism’s much-needed recovery.”

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