By THE NATION
With over 1,151,000 Airbnb guest arrivals in Thailand in 2017 - a 67 per cent year-over-year growth from 2016 - Airbnb reveals how Thailand’s popularity with domestic and international travellers has no sign of slowing down, as people from all over the world continue to seek out unique and authentic experiences here, wanting to see the true character of Thailand through the eyes of the locals.
Thais have travelled to over 100 different countries and six continents in the past year, including non-traditional destinations like Bolivia and Zimbabwe. According to data from Airbnb, popular travel destinations for Thai travellers include Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Great Britain, France, Italy and US. While most outbound Thai travellers reside in major cities such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Krabi, data show that locals from Sukhothai and Chiang Rai are increasingly travelling on Airbnb - with 636 per cent and 284 per cent year-on-year growth respectively.
Top city destinations for Thai travellers in 2017 are Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Kyoto, Singapore, London, Fukuoka, Paris, Sapporo, Rome, among others.
Thais are also increasingly using Airbnb to explore their own country, showing how Airbnb is helping locals gain deeper appreciation of the beauty, culture and unique experiences available right here in Thailand. The top 3 domestic destinations for Thai travellers are Khon Kaen, Chonburi and Hat Yai, which have experiences 139 per cent, 150 per cent and 204 per cent (YOY) growth respectively.
But it’s not just Thais who are doing all the travelling. People from all over the world have been flocking to Thailand this year, with the largest proportion of inbound international guests in 2017 coming from China, US, Singapore, Malaysia and Great Britain.
Thais aren’t just keen to explore the countries around them; last year, domestic travel also surged in popularity as Thais realised there’s plenty to do right on their doorstep, and took the opportunity to experience the full spectrum of history, culture and heritage their own country has to offer.
Pattaya, Bangkok, Hua Hin, and Chiang Mai become the top domestic destinations among Thai travellers last year.
Within Bangkok and Chiang Mai, many neighbourhoods are becoming increasingly popular among traveller visitors. With many of these neighbourhoods, experiencing huge growth shows how Airbnb is bringing lesser-known neighbourhoods into the global consciousness. In this way, Airbnb is driving not just footfall and economic activity to these communities, but a new love and appreciation for areas that have been previously overlooked.
Increasingly, people are shying away from the usual cookie-cutter tours where they see the same things as everyone else. Instead, curious travellers are seeking something authentic, different and unique – handcrafted experiences that they won’t find anywhere else, and that help them really understand the character of a new city.
Airbnb Experiences offers unprecedented access to communities and places that travellers wouldn’t usually come across through traditional tourist travel, meeting fellow travellers and passionate locals in the process.