Thais showed positive sentiment toward domestic tourism and look to dust off their suitcase and travel again when it is possible. According to a digital travel platform, Agoda, a third of Thai people would consider domestic travel within the first two months after restrictions are lifted, with 1 in 5 ready to pack and go a trip immediately. Agoda’s Welcome Back to Travel survey also highlighted Thais’ travel trends post-pandemic.
Domestic travel intent remains strong
Thais are ready to get back to explore the wonders of their country again as soon as restrictions lift, and it is safe to do so. In fact, more Thais are intent to hit the road again right after restrictions are eased for domestic travel than their peers in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam (20% vs. 8%,12%,5%, respectively).
- Male Thais (50%) are marginally more likely to embark on a domestic trip within the next six months than female Thais (45%), with 22% of male respondents considering domestic travel right after the restrictions are eased, compared to 19% female.
- Within the same time frame, more Gen X Thais (1965-1980) are eager to travel domestically (51%), followed by Millennials (1981-1996) 49%, Baby Boomer (1946-1964) 47%, and Gen Z (1997-2009) 41%.
Thais are also optimistic about domestic travel outlook in the next six months, with 3 in 5 expecting that they will be able to travel again – with 38% anticipating they will be able to do so freely, compared to 23% who cite they expect to be able to travel but under some restrictions or through travel bubbles or corridors only.
- More male respondents are inclined to think that in six months travel will jumpstart again (63%) compared to female (59%).
- Corresponding to travel enthusiasm, more Gen X (1965-1980) at 70 are optimistic that domestic travel will return in the next six months, followed by Millennials (60%), Baby Boomer (56%), and Gen Z (54%).
Change in travel behaviors
Thais have been exploring more on the beaten track destinations during COVID, as respondents to Agoda’s Welcome Back to Travel cited discovering new destinations (tie #1), traveling outside main tourism areas to lesser-known destinations (tie #1), and rediscovering destinations they have previously visited with a new perspective (#3) as the top domestic travel experiences since the pandemic. Supporting independent hoteliers and local businesses and taking advantage of special value-add packages that include F&B, Spa promotions or room upgrades, round out the top five. The Survey also highlights changes in destination preference for post-pandemic trips. Cabin fever and social distancing cast the spotlight to outdoor destinations. Thais are more likely going to visit natural scenery and countryside. In contrast, people are less likely going to visit urban city and large cities.
“We are thrilled and heartened to see domestic travel enthusiasm of Thai people, as they have embraced the efforts of the government, OTAs, and operators to revive the hard-hit tourism sector by still travelling to local areas. With beaches, mountains, bustling cities and quiet retreats, Thailand offers something for everyone. As restrictions lift, we hope to work with hotel partners to ensure Thais still get great value deals across the country so they can continue to explore and support the hospitality industry.”, says Tom van Duin, Country Director – Thailand, Partner Services, Agoda.