Travelers embrace Airbnb for top Thai festivals and events

More Thais are listing their homes with #Airbnb for travelers like you. Source: Shutterstock.

TRAVELERS to Thailand are increasingly turning to Airbnb for accommodation during big tourism events.

Last year, Thai Airbnb hosts welcomed over 100,000 guests and earned THB380 million (US$11,957,840) combined over three of Thailand’s largest tourist events: Chinese New Year, Songkran and Golden Week.

Family travel made up a significant proportion of all bookings during these periods, comprising approximately 15 percent of the total.

As Thailand gears up for Chinese New Year with the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s anticipated eight percent increase in traveler numbers this year, more Thais are listing their homes with Airbnb to welcome local and international guests for this auspicious holiday.

“By opening their homes to guests from around the world, our local Airbnb hosts are being the best ambassadors for their community, while pursuing their passion for hospitality and earning supplemental income on the side. There’s never been a better time to start hosting with Airbnb,” Airbnb Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan General Manager Mike Orgill said.

Guest arrivals on Airbnb to Thailand are on the rise especially during key local festivals, as guests seek to live like a local and enjoy firsthand the magic and tradition of these festivals.

During Songkran alone (April 12 to April 17, 2018), Airbnb hosts welcomed more than 45,000 guests from 3,120 cities.

Source: Shutterstock.

This tied in with Airbnb’s first-ever launch of unique ‘Songkran Special’ Airbnb Experiences, where guests could book Experiences such as a traditional Thai Songkran ceremony with a Sak Yant master.

This marked an almost 50 percent increase in guest arrivals year-over-year during Thailand’s most celebrated and respected festival, with an average of 2.7 guests staying in an Airbnb listing over 3 nights. Hosts collectively earned over THB95 million (US$2,989,270) over just six days.

Thailand ranks as one of the top most popular outbound destinations among China outbound travelers on Airbnb. Over Golden Week in October, Bangkok and Chiang Mai featured in the list of top 10 outbound city destinations for China guests, with Bangkok-Chiang Mai being one of the most popular routes in the region.

Guests from China also stayed longer than ever before – the average booking during Golden Week in October comprised 2.5 guests over four nights, up from three nights in 2017.

Source: Shutterstock.

Their top-booked destinations included Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, and Surat Thani.

Orgill said the strong results reinforced the increasing importance of the local Airbnb community during big events, allowing the country to grow Thailand’s tourism economy by lessening the top-down investment required.

“Without the need to lay a single brick, Airbnb is helping to scale up accommodation supply for key events and festivals in Thailand,” Orgill shared.

“Our passionate Thai community is hosting and attracting both local and foreign visitors alike. Each additional visitor staying in an Airbnb listing is one more guest exploring their local neighborhood, patronizing local shops and interacting with local Thais.”

Around the world, Airbnb has helped cities quickly scale up accommodations when cities are hosting globally or nationally significant events while putting the spotlight on a city’s best asset — its people.

The company has worked to help cities build accommodations for significant global sporting events, including the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang.