Survey: Travel demand in Thailand is increasing
Pandemic fears ease, but a squeaky economy still worries potential tourists
A large number of tourists are seen at Suvarnabhumi airport on June 5, 2022.
Thais are eager to travel again, resulting in budget travel up 18% year-on-year despite worries about the economy, according to Europ Assistance’s tourism survey.
There is a real appetite for travel among Thais after Covid fears eased considerably, said Marie Duchesne-Ferchal, product and marketing manager at Europ Assistance, which is part of the Generali group and offers travel assistance, insurance and personal assistance services.
The 2022 Holiday Barometer report found that 69% of Thai holidaymakers are planning summer trips, up 25% from 2021, while 47% will extend their stay this year.
The Europ Assistance and Ipsos survey interviewed 15,000 respondents from 15 countries, including 1,000 Thais, between April 26 and May 16.
Economic conditions remain the most critical concern for travellers, but 66% of Thai respondents said they would keep their travel budget intact or reduce it slightly.
“Despite inflation and soaring commodity prices, Thais are showing a wanderlust after being stuck in the country for two years,” Ms Duchesne-Ferchal said.
As a result, the average summer holiday budget for Thai tourists stands at 62,800 baht, an 18 percent growth from last year, she said.
Some 56% of Thai tourists plan to take trips abroad, growing by seven percentage points from 2021, particularly to Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan and South Korea.
Meanwhile, 18% of Thai respondents are still looking forward to domestic travel, up 5% year-on-year.
Thais who do not plan to travel this year said they wanted to save money, could not afford to spend on leisure trips or were worried about the pandemic.
Ms Duchesne-Ferchal said the pandemic has also affected travellers’ willingness to pay for insurance, with tourists increasingly appreciating its necessity.
A total of 63% of Thais have purchased insurance for their last trips, while 71% said they are most likely to purchase insurance for future trips.
Another trend emerging from the survey is “work”, as 70% plan to work while traveling this summer.
She said that although more countries have reopened to attract Thai travelers abroad, the work trend should also support domestic tourism as anyone can work from anywhere.
Ms Duchesne-Ferchal said domestic tourism could be increased by using celebrity marketing to promote non-traditional or emerging destinations.