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Thailand Tourism is Booming with Klook Reservations Up by 1,200%
Published: June 16, 2023 at 10:18 pm
Online travel platforms remain optimistic about Thailand’s tourism development this year, fueled by a significant increase in tourist arrivals. In the first five months of 2023, Klook’s Chief Commercial Officer Wilfred Fan reported a 1,200% surge in bookings for activities in Thailand compared to the previous year.
The five largest markets for Klook are Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia. According to Klook, an increasing number of travelers, particularly those from Gen. Z and millennials, are searching for meaningful travel experiences. In response to this demand, Klook introduced Stay+, a new product that integrates lodging with tourist activities. In addition, the platform provides permits that grant access to various Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, and Chiang Mai destinations. These bundle permits, which enable consumers to select their desired activities and receive substantial discounts, symbolize Thailand’s tourism industry.
Regardless of the political unpredictability of the country, Fan observed that Thailand continues to be a popular tourist destination. This popularity is predominantly the result of a surge in flight capacity and a weaker baht. Yet, he also pointed out possible future challenges for Thailand’s tourism industry, such as labor shortages as the number of tourists continues to grow rapidly.
Michelle Gao, Regional Manager for the Mekong Region at Booking.com, anticipates stable development for Thai tourism regarding room nights and booking revenues compared to last year, primarily fueled by a robust inbound market. Visitors from traditional markets such as Western Europe, Russia, the United States, and Australia have flocked to Thailand. Additionally, Booking.com has experienced accelerated growth in emerging markets, including India and the Middle East.
Bangkok Post indicated that with the projected revival of the Chinese market in the next quarter, Thailand’s tourism growth rate could increase even further. Booking.com’s global room nights increased by 26% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2019. Despite Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok remaining Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations, there is a growing trend of visitors to secondary cities in the northeastern region in search of distinct culinary and wellness experiences.
Gao hoped that Thailand would market these emerging destinations to satisfy shifting demand. She believes bookings are likely to continue due to pent-up demand regardless of concerns about global inflation and the danger of recession. However, she admitted that consumers might search for better value and added benefits before making reservations.
Booking.com continues to offer its flexible reserving policy and loyalty program, which provides direct discounts or free accommodation updates to bolster its position. Gao also highlighted the significance of advocating sustainable tourism for the industry’s future. Booking.com has introduced a sustainable travel badge for qualified hotels, such as 6,500 hotels in Thailand, urging more businesses to join the campaign.