New data released by Airbnb reveals an optimistic outlook for the tourism industry as travel is beginning to recover in Thailand, with domestic bookings increasing by as much as over 13% year-on-year.
While the travel industry has been significantly disrupted by COVID-19, internal Airbnb data shows that travel is beginning to bounce back, with trends that will shape travel in the weeks and months to come.
With travel slowly resuming in Thailand, domestic travel is trending to destinations near, rather than far. Domestic travel is also on the rise across other markets in Asia-Pacific, with a surge of bookings seen in the last month in Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Japan. In May 2020, over 60% of all bookings on Airbnb were for listings in non-urban destinations.
Based on recent booking data, the top domestic destinations over the last 30 days in Thailand include Bangkok, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Phetchaburi, with travel to non-urban destinations comprising 45% of bookings.
Between 18 and 24 May, there were more nights booked for domestic travel on Airbnb globally than there were in the same period in 2019. From June 5-7, for the first time since February, year-over-year growth in gross booking value (not including cancellations or alterations) has increased for all Airbnb reservations made around the globe.
Tapping into the demand for nearby trips, Airbnb will be updating the app and homepage to help guests rediscover the magic in their own backyards by making it easier to book local travel, including at the last-minute. The homepage and app will be featuring local trip ideas and highlighting nearby getaways.
Even in a world with reduced travel, Airbnb has the potential to generate billions of dollars for local economies, as one of the unique aspects of Airbnb’s host and guest community is keeping economic benefits locally. In 2019, Airbnb’s host and guest community generated US$117 billion in estimated direct economic impact across 30 countries alone, a 16% increase over the US$100 billion generated in 30 markets in 2018.
In Thailand, Airbnb’s host and guest community generated over 40 billion baht in direct economic impact to Thailand in 2019, increasing by 17% year-on-year. 80% of Airbnb guests to Thailand said that Airbnb hosts’ recommendations are located in the neighbourhood they stayed.
Beyond accommodation, the top 5 areas of spend by Airbnb guests in Thailand were:
* Restaurants = 11 billion baht
* Shopping = 5.5 billion baht
* Entertainment = 5.5 billion baht
* Transportation = 4.6 billion baht
* Groceries = 4.4 billion baht
“We are already seeing early positive signs of domestic travel getting ready to make a comeback, driven by locals booking holidays that are closer to home. This latest data reinforces our belief that travellers increasingly are looking for more local, authentic and affordable experiences,” said Kum Hong Siew, regional director (Asia-Pacific), Airbnb. “Tourism is a key driver of economic growth in Thailand and it will play an important role in overall recovery. We are committed to working hand in hand with governments, tourist agencies, communities and other key local stakeholders in Thailand to help restore travel in a responsible way that economically benefits local citizens and small businesses, paving the way towards tourism’s much-needed recovery.”