Allure retained for Chinese tourists

Tourism February 15, 2019 01:00

By THE NATION

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THAILAND was one of the top five global destinations for travellers from mainland China during the Chinese New Year holiday, according to accommodation online platform Airbnb.



  

 

Aside from Bangkok the top five destinations are including Taiwan, Osaka, Hong Kong and Queenstown.

The Chinese travel market is embracing a golden age of consumption upgrading and the rise of the experience economy, such that Thailand becomes one of the top destinations for Chinese travellers all year round, and especially during peak festive periods, the Airbnb said yesterday, citing its data.

China continues to grow in importance as a market for Thailand’s tourism and the local host community. Key travel trends include growth and diversity of local tourism. The number of arrivals made by Airbnb guests from China for travel during the break increased 100 per cent compared to last year. Bangkok is one of the top global cities with an increasing popularity of extended trips to secondary destinations such as Chon Buri, Hua Hin, Rayong, Sara Buri and Ayutthaya.

 Welcoming more than 44,000 guests, Thai Airbnb hosts earned a total of Bt186 million in extra income. During this peak lunar new year travel season, the typical Airbnb host in Thailand earned more than Bt43,000 within the span of eight days.

 More than 80 per cent of bookings made by independent Chinese travellers on Airbnb for the 2019 holiday were made by users born in the 1980s and 1990s. Millennials are one of the most powerful consumer demographics in the travel industry and there are more millennials in China than there are people in the United States.

Nearly 60 per cent of reservations made by Chinese guests for CNY travel are for groups of three or more travellers. Airbnb sees a rise in popularity with Chinese travellers booking Airbnb stays in Thailand. Chinese travellers can connect with locals through cooking classes and biking tours in off-the-beaten track neighbourhoods, which are amongst the most booked activities. With the Tourism Authority of Thailand anticipating an 8 per cent increase in visitor numbers this year, this allows locals to be a part of the tourism ecosystem by allowing passionate local Airbnb hosts to share their culture with Chinese travellers.

Airbnb’s head of public policy for Southeast Asia, Mich Goh, said the positive numbers highlighted the growing importance of the local Airbnb community to Thailand’s tourism economy. “Known for their welcoming hospitality, passionate Thais have become the forefront of an important type of tourism that is people-driven, local, authentic and sustainable,” said Goh. “Airbnb is focused on promoting a more healthy form of tourism that continuously empowers the local Thai host community and helps drive economic activity into communities and neighbourhoods that our hosts call home.”

 “Founded in 2008, Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where people can belong through healthy travel that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive and sustainable,” Goh said.

“Airbnb uniquely leverages technology to economically empower millions of people around the world to unlock and monetise their spaces, passions and talents to become hospitality entrepreneurs. Airbnb’s accommodation marketplace provides access to 5 million unique places to stay in more than 81,000 cities and 191 countries.”