THE EXPEDIA Group travel platform yesterday released its latest hotel demand trends for Thailand. Thai accommodation partners were enjoying steady growth according to Expedia Group’s data, which showed that overall inbound demand to the Kingdom had increased by 10 per cent year on year (YoY) over the past 12 months.
Based on the accommodation demand generated by brands using Expedia Group, the US remains the largest market for Thailand, with demand growing by 20 per cent YoY. China has become the second largest market to Thailand, surpassing Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea for the first time in the past two years. Alongside China’s strong performance, India also upped its game, moving up three ranks to gain a place in Thailand’s top 10 international market.
What’s noteworthy, said the release, is that Chinese and Indian travellers are showing a growing appetite for premium accommodation – more than 60 per cent of the bookings made by Chinese and 55 per cent of bookings made by Indians were in 4-star and 5-star hotels. This trend is in line with the Thai’s government focus to attract more high-end arrivals from China and India.
In terms of popular destinations, Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya, as some may expect, are the most visited cities among Chinese and Indian travellers. Hua Hin (110 per cent YoY), Koh Phi Phi (100 per cent YoY) and Koh Lipe (100 per cent YoY) were firmly established as rising markets with a triple-digit demand increase during the same period.
Recent research found that 80 per cent of international travellers, regardless of age, believe it would be helpful to book accommodations in one place. Coined with such a trend, Expedia Group’s data confirmed that the rising demand for a one-stop shopping experience has attributed to a 50 per cent YoY increase in international package bookings.
In particular, the data uncovered that Chinese travellers are the driving force behind the strong demand for packages into Thailand – almost one in three international package bookings were made by residents of China. That country is also the fastest-growing market for packages as demand skyrocketed by 200 per cent YoY.
India is trending in the same direction, with package demand up by 160 per cent YoY. Other markets tracking triple-digit growth in package demand include Ireland (130 per cent YoY), South Korea (120 per cent YoY) and Indonesia (100 per cent YoY).