By THE NATION
Hosts and guests aged 60 and above are booking on Airbnb in increasing numbers, and leading a new trend of multi-generation family travel beyond traditional tourist districts to experience local, authentic neighbourhoods, the platform said.
Globally, senior hosts are the fastest-growing of any age group of hosts on Airbnb, and there are now more than 400,000 senior hosts on Airbnb worldwide, the company said.
In 2017, senior hosts around the world earned over Bt65 billion, hosted more than 13.5 million guest arrivals at their listings, and welcomed travellers from over 150 countries.
In Thailand, there are currently almost 1,500 senior hosts on Airbnb, representing a year-on-year increase of more than 26 per cent, the platform said.
Senior hosts earned a combined total of close to Bt300 million, welcoming more than 52,000 guests into their homes. They also ranked among the most loved hosts in the world – senior hosts are the best-rated host age group in Thailand with more than 83 per cent of reviews of senior hosts receiving five stars.
“Known for their renowned welcoming hospitality and as avid world travellers, it’s not surprising that seniors in Thailand are ageing meaningfully by embracing the home-sharing community,” said Siew Kum Hong, Airbnb regional director for the Asia Pacific.
Senior guests are now the fastest growing of any age group on Airbnb, with the number of seniors who have booked on the platform growing 66 per cent in the past year.
Airbnb said Thailand’s seniors were the world’s most active, topping the list of countries with the highest proportion of senior guests on Airbnb. Across the country, seniors who booked on Airbnb grew 62 per cent in the past year alone, a figure that is expected to continuing trending up as a quarter of Thailand’s population are expected to be 65 and more by 2040, the company said.
Countries with the highest proportion of over 60s travelling on Airbnb (minimum 1,000 guests) are: Thailand, Japan, the US, United Kingdom, France, Australia, Italy, and Germany.
In turn, seniors around the world are flocking to Thailand for their getaways. Airbnb’s top trending destinations in Thailand among seniors include: Rawai, Phuket (73.68 per cent), Kathu, Phuket (56.78 per cent), and Chiang Mai (53.59 per cent). They are defined as the cities with the greatest year-on-year increase in number of bookings by senior guests for travel in 2018.
“It’s perhaps no surprise that we’re seeing such strong growth in this demographic. Seniors are healthier and wealthier than they’ve ever been, while also tending to take more and longer trips than other age groups,” noted Greg Greeley, president of homes, Airbnb.
Seniors are also at the forefront of a growing trend in Airbnb bookings: multi-generational family travel, where the booking guest is a senior travelling with children or an infant.
In the past year, Thailand has seen a 55-per-cent growth in multi-generational travel, with more than 40 per cent being first-time bookings. Popular travel destinations include Bangkok, Auckland, Kuala Lumpur, Bali, Sydney, Kyoto and Taipei, with an average booking value of Bt4,700 per night.
Airbnb homes often provide amenities that make them ideal for family getaways: kitchens, shared dining spaces, and individual bedrooms and bathrooms. Multi-generational family travel bookings have grown 75 per cent in the past year. And in 2018, more than half of these multi-generational bookings have been by first-timers to the Airbnb community.