BANGKOK, March 26 (The Nation Thailand/ANN): Bangkok is fifth on Airbnb’s list of top trending global travel destinations for this year, with foreign tourists expected to return in full swing for the Songkran festival next month.
Searches for what is known as “the world’s largest water fight” rose 310% year on year, the online marketplace for short-term homestays said.
Bangkok is the most-searched Thai destination for the annual water festival, followed by Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Krabi, and Phuket, said Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb’s general manager for South-East Asia, India, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
“With Songkran just around the corner, we are delighted to see the significant resurgence in international travel to Thailand on Airbnb,” Bajaj said.
The surge in searches signals a strong recovery for tourism in Thailand, Bajaj said.
“The growing excitement among global travellers to experience the country’s scenic natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, delicious local cuisine, and world-class Thai hospitality, is extremely encouraging,” he added.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha was delighted with the news and agreed that Thailand’s tourism industry is recovering strongly, government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said on Saturday.
“The prime minister credited the good ranking to cooperation from all parties in recovering the tourism industry. It also reflects Thailand’s popularity among tourists, due to the various activities, good food, friendly people, and inexpensive goods,” Anucha said.
Over 2.14 million foreign tourists arrived in Thailand in January, a 1,500% surge from 133,828 in the same month last year, according to data from the Tourism and Sports Ministry.
Nights booked in Thailand on Airbnb’s platform more than doubled last year, with international travel leading the way.
Travellers from the United States made up the majority of Airbnb guests visiting Thailand in 2022, followed by those from the United Kingdom, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region, including South Korea, Australia, and China.
Group travel on Airbnb in Thailand surged over 300% year on year in 2022, as more people travel to reconnect with loved ones. Family travel on the platform increased by 60% in 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels, with more families booking Airbnb stays for their value and space.
Airbnb travellers are also staying in Thailand longer. The average length of stay for those who use the platform was five nights in 2022, with long-term stays of over 28 days more than tripling from 2021.
Airbnb is working closely with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to increase long-term stays in Thailand, Bajaj said. They co-launched a "Live and Work Anywhere" digital guide in January to increase the number of digital nomads in Thailand. - The Nation Thailand/ANN