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2017 Travel Trends: Airbnb shares what was hot in Thailand last year


Airbnb, the world’s leading people-powered hospitality and travel platform, has released its annual look-back at the year’s travel trends, revealing new insights into travel in Thailand – from up-and-coming neighbourhoods and trending cities, to the most popular outbound destinations for Thais.

With over 1,151,000 Airbnb guest arrivals in Thailand in 2017 – a 67% year-over-year growth from 2016 – Airbnb reveals how Thailand’s popularity with domestic and international travellers has no sign of slowing down, as people from all over the world continue to seek out unique and authentic experiences here, wanting to see the true character of Thailand through the eyes of the locals.

Thailand’s top hotspots

Thai guests have travelled to over 100 different countries and six continents in the past year, including non-traditional destinations like Bolivia and Zimbabwe. According to data from Airbnb, popular travel destinations for Thai travellers include Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Great Britain, France, Italy and U.S.. While most outbound Thai travellers reside major cities such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Krabi, data shows that locals from Sukhothai and Chiang Rai are increasingly travelling on Airbnb – with 636% and 284% year-on-year growth respectively.

Top City Destinations for Thai Travellers in 2017

  • Tokyo
  • Osaka
  • Seoul
  • Kyoto
  • Singapore
  • London
  • Fukuoka
  • Paris
  • Sapporo
  • Rome
  • Milan
  • Los Angeles

Thais are also increasingly using Airbnb to explore their own country, showing how Airbnb is helping locals gain deeper appreciation of the beauty, culture and unique experiences available right here in Thailand. The top 3 domestic destinations for Thai travellers are Khon Kaen, Chonburi and Hat Yai, which have experiences 139%, 150% and 204% YOY growth respectively.

But it’s not just Thais who are doing all the travelling. People from all over the world have been flocking to Thailand this year, with the largest proportion of inbound international guests in 2017 coming from China, U.S., Singapore, Malaysia and Great Britain.

The rise of domestic travel

Thais aren’t just keen to explore the countries around them; last year, domestic travel also surged in popularity as Thais realised there’s plenty to do right on their doorstep, and took the opportunity to experience the full spectrum of history, culture and heritage their own country has to offer.

The following list shows the top domestic destinations among Thai travellers last year:

  • Pattaya
  • Bangkok
  • Hua Hin
  • Chiang Mai

Within Bangkok and Chiang Mai, many neighbourhoods are becoming increasingly popular among traveller visitors. With many of these neighbourhoods, experiencing huge growth shows how Airbnb is bringing lesser-known neighbourhoods into the global consciousness. In this way, Airbnb is driving not just footfall and economic activity to these communities, but a new love and appreciation for areas that have been previously overlooked.

Top Trending Neighbourhoods in Thailand

  • Upper Sukhumvit, Bangkok
  • Lower Sukhumvit, Bangkok
  • Sathorn, Bangkok
  • Din Daeng/Huai Khwang, Bangkok
  • Klong Toey, Bangkok
  • Hillcrest, Chiang Mai
  • Thonburi, Chiang Mai

A more unique type of travel

Increasingly, people are shying away from the usual cookie-cutter tours where they see the same things as everyone else. Instead, curious travellers are seeking something authentic, different and unique – handcrafted experiences that they won’t find anywhere else, and that help them really understand the character of a new city.

Airbnb Experiences offers unprecedented access to communities and places that travellers wouldn’t usually come across through traditional tourist travel, meeting fellow travellers and passionate locals in the process. Southeast Asians are catching on to this trend and have been keen to sign up for the latest Experiences this year. Some Experiences have proved particularly appealing, with the following being among the most popular Experiences from travellers in the region.

As part of its 2017 review, Airbnb has also compiled some 2018 travel inspiration for you, with  a snapshot of some of the truly spectacular and unique listings right here on your doorstep.

So what are you waiting for? A unique and unforgettable travel experience awaits, and just a stone’s throw away. Get booking!

1. Tamarind Cottage Treehouse – Chiang Mai, Thailand

Head to higher ground for some soul searching in this mystical treehouse roosted atop a teakwood forestAdventure beckons with waterfalls, bat caves, and hiking trails located nearby.

2Yong Yi Yuen – Penang, Malaysia

This 100year old pre war listing offers an insight into the culture and heritage of George Town, PenangThis atmospheric home is conveniently located near the city centre, but take some time to explore the many museumworthy curios within the house itself.

3Singaraja Villa – Bali, Indonesia

This villa boasts a 180 degree view on an elevated position in one of the last remaining untouched parts of the islandWith uninterrupted ocean views, Singaraja Villa is one of the best places to relax and enjoy the cooling breezes of the island paradise.

4Private Island Retreat in El Nido – Palawan, The Philippines

Discover perfect white beaches exclusively at this private island retreat in Palawan, The PhilippinesVoted one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, this retreat offers the perfect getaway for groups of 12 or more!

5Rice Field Bamboo Dome – Bali, Indonesia

This unique ecofriendly 2story dome is situated in a rice field, designed for ecoconscious travellers who love natureMade primarily from bamboo, guests will be treated with beautiful panoramic views of the rice fields from the top of the dome.

6Baan Sai Tan – Koh Samui, Thailand

Baan Sai Tan or the ‘House of Flowing Waters’ is a stunning Balinese style 3bedroom villa nestled in the heart of Bophut in Koh SamuiThis exclusive villa is an ultimate fusion of Asian and contemporary designThe villa is also just 5 minutes’ drive from Bophut and Maenam beaches as well as Fisherman’s Villages with its mouthwater restaurants and ultrastylish boutiques.

7Jonker Street Peranakan Mansion – Malacca, Malaysia

This beautiful 18th century UNESCO protected building is a beautifully restored Peranakan home overlooking the River of Malacca and near to the heart of Malacca, Jonker Street.Indulge in culture and history in a glamourous setting.