What are travelers seeking in Thailand?

Here’s what travelers love about Thailand. Source: Shutterstock.

THE warm and breezy Southeast Asian paradise destination of Thailand is famed for being diverse and tourist-friendly.

It is no wonder why it is one of the most visited countries in the world and is popularly known as the “Land of Smiles”.

Often, travelers would find themselves spoilt for choice because Thailand has so much to offer.

And it is not just limited to vibrant markets bursting at seams with huge arrays of goods or bustling cities filled with activities from dawn until dusk, or highlands which offer rolling mountains and lush greenery, and pristine white sand beaches with crystal clear waters teeming with marine life in a kaleidoscope of colors below.

As the number of guests continues to trend upwards with more than 1.65 million inbound guests to Thailand the past year, Airbnb sees more locals wanting to be a part of the sharing economy.

Locals are starting to see the benefit that hosting brings thanks to international tourists who are now conscious of traveling in a more healthy and sustainable way.

Source: Shutterstock.

According to an Airbnb research, 84 percent of guests decided to use Airbnb because they want to live like a local while 44 percent of Airbnb guest spending is in the neighborhoods where they stay.

In Thailand, this trend to explore local neighborhoods stays hugely popular.

The Airbnb Bangkok Healthy Travel report found that 88 percent of Airbnb guests stay outside traditional areas with THB1.7 billion (US$52 million) spent in local restaurants, THB1.5 billion (US$52 million) on leisure and cultural activities, and THB800 million (US$24 million) on groceries, helping promote economic empowerment.

Domestic travel is also on the rise, with secondary destinations becoming the first choice for Thai traveler.

Campaigns by the Tourism Authority of Thailand have prioritized domestic travel and Airbnb’s partnerships with the Thailand Ministry of Interior’s Department of Local Administration and with B-STAY in Buriram have helped to create and support homestay entrepreneurs in secondary destinations across the country.

A combination of bookings and wishlist data by Thai travelers reveal the top secondary destinations in 2018 were:

Prachuap Khiri Khan

Nakhon Ratchasima

Krabi

Suratthani

Pai

“We have seen more people traveling domestically in Thailand this year as they look to get off-the-beaten-path and seek out authentic experiences,” Airbnb Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan General Manager Mike Orgill said.

“We expect this trend to continue in 2019 as people opt for a more healthy type of travel, explore lesser-known neighborhoods and learn from local residents while enjoying a more sustainable travel experience that directly benefits the local communities which they visit.”