Thais to become top spender in foreign travel 

Tourism July 06, 2018 01:00


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SPENDING per trip aboard by Thais travellers is on the rise, bucking the global downtrend. 

Thais travellers make frequent trips abroad and spending per trip is on the rise, Suripong Tantiyanon, country manager at Visa Thailand, said yesterday. 

According to the Visa Global Travel Intentions Study , people around the globe are travelling more but trips are getting shorter. 

Thais are expected to leapfrog ahead of other nationalities in the number of vacation trips they take each year – with 3.9 trips planned in 2019. In the Asia-Pacific region as a whole, the average is 2.8 trips, and globally 2.7 trips.

But Thais tend to be away for an average of five nights, compared to the global average of eight nights, down from 10 nights in 2013, Suripong said.

The median spending per trip by a thai traveller was $1,304, 1,221 and 1,501 in 2013, 2015 and 2017 respectively. The amount may be smaller when compared with the global median of $2,390, 1,932 and 1,793 respectively, however, the trend of spending climbing , reversing the global trend of lower spending, he said. 

Thai travellers’ spending via Visa cards increased by about 10 per cent annually in recent years, suggesting more Thais are taking vacation aboard, according to Visa International.

According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the number of Thais travelling overseas were 8.79 million last year, up 7.23 per cent and they spent a combined worth Bt276 billion.

When asking about the future spending, Thais said they will spend $2,252 for the next trip compared with global median of $2.443. 

Top five destinations over the past two years for Thai travellers are Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and China. 

 Over the next two years, the top four destinations are likely to remain the same except for China, which is expected to be surpassed by Australia. 

Thais and other nationalities have been using less cash with the emergence of new method of payments, such as QR code . 

When planning their trips, travellers around the globe source information online with online sources of information rose to 83 per cent in 2017, up from 78 per cent in 2015. While offline sources of information dropped from 82 per cent to 47 per cent in the same period.

Among Thai travellers, online sources also dominated, presenting 85 per cent against offline source of 58 per cent. 

When it comes to Internet connecting, 97 per cent of Thai travellers connected to the Internet when they were travelling aboard, compared with 88 per cent globally. Thais also preferred roaming phone service while most global travellers looked for free wi-fi, he added. 

In 2017 travel and tourism accounts for 10.4 per cent of global GDP. In Thailand, it accounts for as much as 21.2 per cent of country GDP.