By THE NATION
Advanced booking data from Airbnb, the leading peopletopeople travel platform, shows that Bangkok is the tenth most popular Valentine’s Day destination in the world this year.
Bangkok is the only Asian city in the top 10. Christchurch in New Zealand is in top spot followed by Los Angeles and another Kiwi city – Queenstown in third place. Paris is fourth and Auckland fifth. London follows in No 6 and Miami (US) the seventh place. Another two cities in New Zealand – Twizel and West Coast are eighth and ninth with Bangkok rounding out the first 10.
Airbnb says that the reason why Bangkok is in the top ten list can be put down to the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s proactive promotion of Thailand for weddings, honeymooners and female travellers, cornerstones of the agency’s “Amazing Thailand’s Open to the New Shades” campaign launched last year.
While Valentine's Day is traditionally considered a time for couples travel, Airbnb data reveals a new trend in the growth of solo travel. Advanced booking data for 2019 shows that people travelling solo on Valentine's Day this year has increased 98 per cent year-on-year, globally, with Paris being the most booked destination by solo Airbnb travellers.
That’s followed by Los Angeles, London, New York and San Francisco with Bangkok coming in as the sixth most popular Valentine's Day destination in the world for solo travellers having seen almost 72 per cent growth in solo bookings from 2018 to 2019.
There's a clear trend of more travellers wanting a more meaningful travel experience, which includes a sustainable form of travelling to secondary provinces around Thailand. This benefits local communities who do not otherwise see the tourist dollar. This is largely influenced by popular Thai TV dramas.
Following the successful first series of Channel 3’s “Love Destiny” (“Buppesannivas”), travel to Ayutthaya has spiked and become one of Airbnb's fastest growing secondary destinations in Thailand as travellers look to immerse themselves in the local historical and cultural sites. Airbnb Experiences around Thai local culture are more popular than ever, where the platform sees hospitality entrepreneurs wanting to share an authentic side of Thailand.