Thai tourism booms as over a quarter vow to return: Visa insights

Photo courtesy of Phuket Go

A Visa study has uncovered that Thailand is set to witness a tourism surge with a whopping 28% of travellers who explored the country this year, expressing their firm intention to make a return within the next 12 months.

The 2023 Global Travel Intentions Study by Visa, the largest and longest-running consumer insights study of its kind, has provided a fascinating glimpse into the travel habits of various nationalities.

The top contenders for repeat visits hail from Malaysia (42%), Singapore (41%), the Philippines (28%), Mainland China (25%), and Vietnam (22%). The driving forces behind this desire to return are diverse, ranging from the pursuit of relaxation, shopping sprees, exploration, and thrilling adventures, to reuniting with family and friends.

Unsurprisingly, the bustling metropolis of Bangkok, the enchanting allure of Phuket, and the vibrant energy of Pattaya remain the hotspots for tourists. Additionally, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai, and Krabi have also carved out their niche, captivating the hearts of Chinese, Malaysian, and Singaporean travellers, respectively.

Punnamas Vichitkulwongsa, Visa Country Manager for Thailand, expressed optimism.

“Thailand’s tourism industry plays a crucial role in propelling the nation’s economy, and we hope these insights help all of our partners to enhance travel experiences while efficiently boosting business growth. Our collective efforts aim to elevate the travel industry and also drive a positive impact for the overall payments ecosystem.”

Millennial travel

According to the study, the recent wave of travellers to Thailand is predominantly led by millennials (51%), followed closely by affluent travellers (27%), families with young children (18%), young singles (16%), Gen Z (15%), families with older kids (14%), and silver travellers (11%). Notably, silver travellers, with an average stay of 12 nights, outshine others in the leisure trip duration category, as the average visitor spends eight nights in the country.

The payment landscape in Thailand sees almost half of all travellers (48%) relying on payment cards for their expenditures, with affluent travellers and families with kids leading the charge in card usage for shopping (39%), dining (33%), and holiday activities (33%). Pre-trip splurges on accommodation (81%) and transport (69%) also see widespread card usage, reported The Nation.

In the accommodation realm, a staggering 83% opt for hotels, guided by safety (76%), cleanliness (63%), location (54%), value for money (52%), and in-room amenities (41%). Mainland China takes the lead in spending, with an average of 95,000 baht, followed by Singapore (58,000 baht), the Philippines (48,000 baht), Vietnam (38,000 baht), and Malaysia (34,000 baht).

However, spending varies based on trip duration, with those staying for eight days or more splurging over 135,000 baht, weeklong visitors spending around 65,000 baht, and short-stay visitors (up to three nights) budgeting around 40,000 baht. The study, encompassing 1,049 leisure travellers with past and future travel plans, paints a vivid picture of the evolving landscape of tourism in Thailand.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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