Top News Booking windows for Thai hotels shrink By TTG Asia / Posted on 19 August, 2020 11:26 A fast-growing shift towards last-minute travel is emerging among local holidaymakers in Thailand amid Covid-19 uncertainty, found new data from SiteMinder. According to the SiteMinder’s World Hotel Index, of all bookings made at Thai hotels in the last two weeks, just under 38 per cent are for stays during the month of August and over 35 per cent are for September. Less than 20 per cent of all bookings made at Thai hotels to date are for stays next year. The findings mirror those found in SiteMinder’s recent Changing Traveller Report, which surveyed nearly 600 residents and found that 59 per cent would make their accommodation reservation less than a month before commencing their trip. The survey, conducted in July, also found that close to two in three Thais were already planning their next local trip, with 74 per cent intending to travel within the country before the end of the year. SiteMinder’s regional vice president of Asia Pacific, Bradley Haines, said: “The rapid pace of change this year has presented hoteliers with the challenges of short-term planning and spontaneous or otherwise last-minute buying behaviour among their guests. The paths to purchase are now much shorter and it is important hoteliers adapt by ensuring they are bookable through a variety of sales channels, particularly on mobile and social media where consumers are spending more time than ever before. “The ongoing crisis has instilled in many people a newfound appreciation for what their country has to offer, and that is clear here in Thailand. Residents are showing their openness to travelling locally through this period, which is allowing for local confidence to be built incrementally as life continues to normalise. The growing trend is critical to all local operators that have reopened.” Local residents now constitute just over 95 per cent of the country’s hotel guests, according to the World Hotel Index, which is a stark contrast to the 29 per cent seen in August last year. Thailand’s hotel bookings currently sit at 39.77 per cent of 2019 volumes, representing a growth of 573 per cent since dropping to 5.91 per cent year-on-year – their lowest level in recent history – on April 12.