It’s all about the experience

Thailand November 28, 2018 14:00

By The Nation

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Booking.com recently decided to learn more about the spending habits of Thai travellers by studying the data collected from 21,500 travellers across 29 countries.



The research revealed that 79 per cent of Thai travellers attempt to be sensible spenders by making a budget in advance, though more than half (58 per cent) don’t stick to it and end up spending more than they first intended to. The research also reveals how Thai travellers will prioritise their travel budget in the year to come.

Travellers will increasingly splurge on experiences in 2019. More than half (55 per cent) plan to spend more on experiences, entertainment and attractions in 2019 when compared to 2018, and 68 per cent of Thais revealed that they value experiences more than material possessions, a trend that is set to continue with activities, entertainment and attractions the top areas on which Thai travellers intend to spend in 2019.

Contrary to popular belief, this trend is not just reserved for millennials either; there is only a small difference in the age breakdown (68 per cent for 35-44 year olds, 74 per cent for those aged 45 plus). In 2019, experiences will go truly mainstream.

 So how to free the budget for all these experiences? Booking.com research suggests that Thai travellers are willing to make some sacrifices. Three quarters (76 per cent) say they will travel as cost effectively as possible in 2019 so they can fit in more trips and experiences than in 2018. For example, over half (58 per cent) say they are willing to skip tourist highlights if they deem them too expensive.

This also points to another trend that will impact travel budgets in 2019; tourism authorities will increasingly try to entice travellers to visit during the off-season or to venture outside the most popular tourist areas. The research suggests that most Thai travellers are very open to this idea, declaring willingness to stay in accommodation outside the centre (57 per cent), travelling during off-peak season (62 per cent), and sharing their travel plans with tourism authorities to get tailored recommendations (63 per cent). Going off the beaten track will provide a great opportunity for travellers and tourism authorities alike, and in 2019 more and more travellers will seize it.

The research was commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of adults who have taken a trip in the last 12 months/plan to take a trip in the next 12 months. In total 21,500 respondents were polled (including 1,000 each from Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China, Brazil, India, US, UK, Russia, Indonesia, Colombia and South Korea; and 500 each from Japan, New Zealand, Thailand, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Taiwan, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore and Israel). Respondents completed an online survey between August 10 to August 30.