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Expedia Group: 3 Key Thai Destinations Benefit From Growing Global Demand

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The latest data from the Expedia group, the world’s largest travel company, shows that international travellers are increasingly heading to a number of key destinations across Thailand, with notable growth in Chiang Rai, Pattaya and Hua Hin.

The Expedia group data for the first half of 2016 highlights a healthy growth in international demand across all three destinations. Expedia’s hotel partners in Chiang Rai benefited the most with a year-on-year growth of 70%, followed by Pattaya (60%) and Hua Hin (40%).

Working with the Expedia group, Thai hoteliers can gain exposure from the more than 200+ travel booking sites in over 75 countries in 35 languages. With over 450 million monthly visits across Expedia’s portfolio of travel brands, the United Kingdom and United States are two of the top inbound markets that make up almost one fifth of the total demand to Chiang Rai and Pattaya. Consistent across all three markets, international travellers are proving to be more valuable than domestic travellers as inbound visitors book over a month in advance, surpassing that of domestic Thai travellers by nearly two times. They are also staying 1.5 times longer than domestic visitors.

Expedia’s dynamic packages performed even better. International demand for Expedia’s packages rose across all three destinations with Pattaya leading the pack at 170% year-on-year growth, Hua Hin (90%) and Chiang Rai (50%). Expedia’s package offering is unique as it allows travellers to save money by combining multiple products together like air, car and hotel. Packages are yet another way that allow hoteliers in these destinations to generate valuable demand that comes with low single digit cancellation rates.

Mobile is one of the fastest growing segments for all three markets, with demand on average doubling for Chiang Rai and Pattaya, while hoteliers in Hua Hin have seen a further increment of almost two thirds in bookings through mobile devices. Expedia’s mobile platforms have consistently helped hoteliers fill last-minute rooms, with nearly 40-50% of mobile stays in these markets coming in between 0-6 days before arrival.

“The Expedia Partner Lodging Services team work very closely with our hotel partners throughout the Kingdom, no matter where they are located in Thailand. We utilize a wealth of data insights to help Thai hoteliers develop an optimal revenue-maximising strategy and find ways to attract travellers from all over the world.” said Pimpawee Nopakitgumjorn, Director of Market Management at the Expedia group.

For the first half of 2016, the Expedia group’s data also revealed the following interesting information:

  • Chiang Rai

–          Chiang Rai, on the whole, is experiencing impressive growth in inbound travel

–          A number of feeder markets have reported triple digit growth including Germany (+140%), Hong Kong and France (+120%), Canada and South Korea (+110%)

–          In addition, Chiang Rai hoteliers also benefit from travellers making bookings further ahead, with those from Malaysia and the United Kingdom being particularly outstanding as they book over 50 days in advance (nearly 2 times more than domestic travellers)

  • Pattaya

–          Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea alone contribute to one quarter of the total inbound demand to Pattaya

–          Highly noteworthy for Pattaya hoteliers is Hong Kong, which is the fastest growing inbound market with an impressive growth of almost 100%  year-on-year demand according to Expedia group data

  • Hua Hin

–          Swiss travellers are likely to be the group that Hua Hin hoteliers most appreciate since they have had a triple digit growth in demand (160%)

–          Together, Sweden and Denmark make up almost one fifth of total demand Expedia delivers to Hua Hin hoteliers

–          Similar to Pattaya, Asian visitors from Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan spent the most, averaging 1.4 times more per day compared to domestic travellers