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Big Data Deep Dive: Revealing Thai Travel Trends of 2019

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Bangkok, 12 December 2019 – 2019 will see iconic sites remain popular, but we will also see an increase of travelers expanding their horizons and bringing growth to new destinations like Vietnam and India

Leveraging its unique position as a travel search engine/service comparison platform, Skyscanner, offering travelers options from airlines and OTAs, has delved into its unprecedented insights from million users around the world to reveal major travel trends, giving an exclusive peek into the crystal ball of what travelers can expect in the year ahead.

In 2019, Skyscanner anticipates more growth in new, non-traditional destinations and premium travel services in Thai outbound travel. “We see a big growth in very interesting destinations searched, suggesting that Thai travelers take a more exploratory approach to search, and that there is a rising demand for a better, more exotic ‘next level’ experience when they travel” says Mr. Jatupol Rahothan, Senior Growth Marketing Manager from Skyscanner. Beyond destinations, Skyscanner expects Thai travelers to become increasingly challenged when it comes to booking tickets to destinations, as a myriad of promotions and flash sales to continue in the year ahead. These trends are consistent with overall APAC travel behavior.

Thai travelers are more willing to open their wallets for a better experience

Thailand is quickly becoming a key country in APAC for business class bookings, coming 4th behind Australia, NewZealand and South Korea in growth. Both business and premium economy might be gaining popularity due to a 6%-10% average price drop as well as a desire to elevate travel experiences. In last year alone, we saw an increase of 36% in business class bookings and 24% in premium economy. Thai travelers are more likely to pay more for premium economy class for international travel (43%growth), but when it comes to short haul international or domestic flights,Thai travelers are more willing to splurge for business class seats (35% increase).

Iconic destinations remain the most-booked, but Thai travelers are looking to expand their horizons to vastly different destinations

Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong remain the top travel destinations for Thais for the past three years. And travel to these regional stars is expected to remain unchanged in 2019 due to their proximity and familiarity amongst Thai travelers. However, we are seeing a massive increase in search for exotic destinations around the region and beyond. New cities of interest in the region and beyond includes Da Lat (859% growth), Jaipur (367% growth) and Tbilisi (125%growth).

Thai travelers care about the experience, but they are alsoprice savvy when it comes to booking flights.

Thai travelers are increasingly becoming more and more well-prepared when it comes to their travel planning to make sure that they get the best deals. We saw Thai travelers beginning to search longer in advance, even if the booking window remains the same. With more and more airlines and online travel agents (OTAs) running promotions and flash sales, it is not surprising that more travelers do their research in advance before committing to a particular airfare. In last year alone, we saw an increase in the number of search days from 43 days before departure to 45 days. On the other hand, the booking window remains the same and this trend is expected to continue in 2019.

Cheapest places to travel to in 2019

Skyscanner data indicates that there will be a ticket price decrease to key interest cities, which may increase their potential to bring new growth for Thai travelers in the coming year.

2019 will be the best year to travel to the U.S. yet. We saw an average flight discount of 12%-15% to key cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orlando, Portland and Dallas. Whereas in Asia, we saw a 11% decrease to Busan in South Korea, a 10%-12% discount to Leh and Kolkatain India, a 14% discount to Male in Maldives, and a 10% discount to Bali, Indonesia. Additionally, prices to Taiwan, Greece and the Philippines are also expected to decrease too by an average of 4% – 6% next year.


For media inquiry, please contact press.th@skyscanner.co.th