Expedia.co.th has released the results of its 2017 Flip Flop Report, a survey of 15,000 adults in 17 countries about what they look for in a beach vacation.
It covers the most popular destinations, which countries see the most risqué beach attire, and what behaviour gets people banned from the beach.
Of the 852 respondents in Thailand, 95 per cent had had a beach vacation, 73 per cent in the past year.
Of the 95 per cent, 42 per cent had travelled abroad for a holiday by the beach (Singapore 17 per cent, Japan 16, Hawaii 14 and Australia 12 per cent), but most Thais hit the beach in their own country.
When it comes to foreigners taking beach vacations in Thailand, 12 per cent of global travellers have vacationed at a Thai beach. They include one in five South Koreans, 17 per cent of Indians and 15 per cent of Australians.
While Thais travel mostly within their own country, nine out of 10 (92 per cent) have a wish list of distant beach destinations. Half would love to go to Waikiki in Hawaii, followed by Seminyak in Bali (32 per cent) and Amalfi in Italy (16 per cent).
Thai travellers show strong preference for short travel times and distances to their beach vacation. On average, they’re willing to sit on a plane for close to four hours and in a road vehicle for 4.5 hours – less than any other nationality.
However, one out of 10 Thais would drive (12 per cent) or fly (10 per cent) for more than nine hours to reach a beach destination.
On average, Thais spend close to five days away on a beach vacation. International holidays are longer on average than domestic holidays (six days and more than four days, respectively). Only 12 per cent of Thais would travel for more than a week.
When deciding on a beach vacation destination, the most influential factors for Thais include safety (96 per cent) and cleanliness (96 per cent) of the beach, followed by great weather (92 per cent) and the total cost (88 per cent).
Adult-only resorts and activities are considered important aspects for two-thirds (66 per cent) of Thais, making them the most likely to find this aspect important (with a global average of 53 per cent).
Thais are the second-most likely after Indians (74 per cent) to consider social-media visibility an important aspect of a beach holiday (69 per cent against a global average of 55 per cent). Interestingly, Thais are least interested in beach holiday destinations where there are plenty of singles, with two-thirds finding this the least important aspect.
Ninety-seven per cent were satisfied with their latest beach holiday, and 43 per cent were very satisfied.
Thai vacationers are slightly more likely to be very satisfied on an international beach vacation than one closer to home (international 46 per cent versus domestic 41 per cent).
No matter who they travel with, more than 95 per cent of Thais are generally satisfied with their holiday. However, traveling families are more likely to be very satisfied (45 per cent) than traveling couples to be very satisfied (40 per cent).