Bangkok beats the heat: A top summer destination

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Bangkok clinched a spot among the world’s top 10 summer destinations, according to the latest Mastercard Economics Institute (MEI) report.

The MEI’s Travel Trends 2024: Breaking Boundaries reveals that Bangkok is set to see a surge in tourist demand over the next three months, ranking 7th globally.

David Mann, Mastercard’s chief economist for Asia Pacific (APAC), highlighted that Thailand’s tourism sector is bouncing back robustly.

“Thailand was already a favourite in the APAC region pre-pandemic. Tourism is expected to fully recover by 2024, with visitor numbers now just 7% below pre-pandemic levels.”

Chinese and Malaysian tourists are leading the charge to Thailand, with flight traffic from South Asia and the ASEAN region up nearly 20% from 2019. Munich tops the list of summer hotspots, driven by the UEFA Euro 2024, while Tokyo, Triana, Nice, and Cancun follow close behind. Bali, ranked 6th, edges out Bangkok, with Corfu, Frankfurt, and Oranjestad rounding out the top 10.

The report underscores that APAC destinations are on the rise, making up half of the top 10 trending spots. Shorter, intra-regional trips are particularly popular, with Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Perth being top picks for Singaporeans.

“Costs are becoming a crucial factor. Foreign exchange rates and spending power significantly influence travel decisions. Businesses must adapt to these dynamics to attract tourists.”

Chinese tourists are now prioritising domestic trips, though outbound travel looks promising for 2024, boosted by visa exemptions and increased flight capacity. Indian travellers are also on the rise, spurred by a growing middle class and expanded routes. In the first three months of 2024 alone, Indian airports handled 97 million passengers, a figure that once took a year to reach.

Asia-Pacific destinations

Tourists are extending their stays in APAC destinations by an average of 1.2 days, reaching 7.4 days per trip due to affordability, warm weather, and favourable exchange rates. India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Japan have seen the longest increases in trip durations, enhancing local economies.

Global travel spending is shifting towards experiences, with nightlife and adventure making up 12% of tourism sales—the highest in five years. Fine dining in Australia, India, and Thailand is thriving, reflecting tourists’ preference for high-value experiences over material goods, reported The Nation.

As travel continues to boom, with record-breaking spending days in the cruise and airline industries, the MEI expects this trend to grow, with consumers prioritising unforgettable experiences.

Bangkok beats the heat: A top summer destination | News by Thaiger

Photo courtesy of Greek Travel Pages

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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