By The Nation
The study, which featured insights from more than 600 adult travellers in Thailand, found that Thais are the most frequent travellers in the region, with an average of 10.1 flights per year, followed by Japanese and Indians..
Conducted on behalf of Brand Expedia by Northstar, the study also revealed that while travel is generally enjoyable, annoying behaviour and unpleasant encounters can quickly ruin good vibes.
The survey was conducted online from February 22 to March 19, 2018 across North America, Europe, South America and Asia Pacific using an amalgamated group of best-in-class panels from across 23 countries.
On average, Thais take five one-way flights per year, with personal flights accounting for two-thirds of these flights and another third flying for business. Business travel is particularly high in Thailand, Japan and India. Economy class travel predominates, especially for personal trips, though US and Thai business travellers are the most likely to travel in premium economy or above.
Most travellers still prefer a printed boarding pass, with 47 per cent using print only, and 32 per cent using a combination of both print and mobile boarding passes, while 21 per cent use a mobile device. Thailand leads the way in choosing mobile-only boarding passes.
When it comes to passing a sleeping passenger, 42 per cent say they would wake them and ask them to move, 20 per cent would climb over with their back to them and facing them 23 per cent would just wait.
Travellers in Asian markets tend to be more likely to wake them and here again Thailand scored high with 59 per cent.
Nearly 30 per cent of passengers take off their shoes but not their socks and just seven per cent go barefoot on airplanes. The Japanese were the most likely to go barefoot, the Swiss and British topped the list in taking off their shoes but keeping on their socks while Mexicans, Thais, Italians and Spaniards were most likely to say that shoes should remain on.
Thais’ pet peeve when it comes to most annoying in-flight habits did not differ much from other travellers from other parts of the world.
Annoying passengers are the seat kicker/bumper/grabber, followed by the “Aromatic Passenger”, the Inattentive Parent, Personal Space Violator and the Audio Insensitive.
When checking into their hotel rooms, guests are mostly annoyed to find bed bugs, a used condom or cigarette smoke/foul smell.
The most annoying guests include Inattentive Parents, Hallway Hellraisers and the In-Room Revellers.
Travellers are closely divided between booking a flight first and then a hotel compared to a travel package with a flight and hotel while relatively few would book a hotel first. Thirty-seven per cent of Thais said they would book a flight first.
Likewise, choosing to stay at big chain hotels dominated in most markets as a first or second choice (Thailand scoring 52 per cent), with boutique hotels (Thais 44 per cent) and vacation/holiday rentals (Thais 33 per cent) as the next most popular option.
Wi-fi connection is by far the most important hotel amenity for global travellers and is the top hotel amenity for Thai travellers at 71 per cent, followed by complimentary toiletries (46 per cent), an in-room fridge (45 per cent), along with freebies such as spa credits and food/beverage credits (47 per cent).
“Thai travellers are no doubt frequent travellers who love to stay connected to their friends and families back home. It thus comes at no surprise that Wi-Fi emerged as the most important hotel amenity among Thais, ahead of even price and location”, said Lavinia Rajaram, Regional Head of Communications for Brand Expedia in Asia.
Despite being a price-sensitive group of travellers, it was surprising to see that only 38 per cent of Thais book their flights and hotels together as a package.
“Package bookings remain the single easiest way for travellers to make considerable savings, both domestically and internationally. By booking their flights and hotels together, Thai travellers enjoy up to 18 per cent off their travel costs,” Rajaram noted.