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Thais prioritize fitness and physique ahead of beach holidays

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Today, Expedia.co.th® released the results of the 2016 Expedia® Flip Flop Report, an annual study of the behavior and preferences among beachgoers around the world.

In particular, the 2016 Thailand Flip Flop Report found that Thai vacationers are the world’s foremost beachgoers among 24 countries polled worldwide, with 82 percent having been on a beach holiday in the last 12 months. A further 85 percent of Thais have indicated that they are planning for another break in the following year.

Thais love looking good for the camera 

In addition to their love of the beach, Thai travelers love looking good before heading off for their vacation, with 32 percent confessing that they would postpone a trip if they were not entirely beach-ready. Globally, only 11 percent of respondents from all 24 countries polled said, they would postpone a vacation to get in shape.

Thais are big on value

Overall, Thais are likely to spend an average of 2,822 THB to get themselves ready before a vacation, with 56 percent opting to shop for new beachwear, while 38 percent would hit the gym to get in shape. This obsession for looking good might stem from the fact that Thais tops the scale (again) with 56 percent sharing snippets of their trips on social media applications like Snapchat and Instagram.

In comparison, travelers would spend on average USD$2,382 (THB83, 740) on food, transport, accommodation and activities during their holiday. Thais however, seem to prefer stretching their dollars during trips, spending on average USD$1,430 (THB50, 272) on their beach holidays, which is the lowest amount globally.

“Thailand has always stood out in the region as a country that provides the gateway to some of the best beaches in the world. It is no surprise that Thais have come out to top our charts as the top beachgoers across the globe,” said Simon Fiquet, General Manager for Southeast Asia and India, Expedia group. “It is an interesting observation that Thai vacationers prioritize looking their best prior to hitting the beach front. A reflection of how much they value every aspect of their travel experience, from booking the perfect accommodation to creating and recording their travel memories.”


*310 respondents from Thailand; percentages for Thai travelers are in bold for easier reference.

How does the Thai traveler look like, according to the survey?  

  • 49 percent males, 51 percent female
  • Majority (62 percent) are of upwards of 35 years old, while the rest (38 percent) are between the ages of 18-34

Safe and clean beaches are important 

71 percent of respondents highlighted the importance of safe beaches, while a good number mentioned that cleanliness (61 percent) and good weather (45 percent) were a huge factor when it comes to selecting their destination.

Interestingly 66 percent of Thais also prefer beaches that are quieter and away from the city center. This differs greatly from our Southeast Asian neighbors – Singapore (67 percent) and Malaysia (74 percent), who prefer to be closer to popular areas.

Where do we prefer to stay overseas?   

Thais place great emphasis on family ties, and this is reflected in the survey with 79 percent stating that they traditionally travel with their family. 58 percent would travel to a beach destination within their own country and prefer staying at a family-friendly resort.

How we spend our time during our vacation?

  • 73 percent take long walks along the beach to enjoy the scenery
  • 57 percent spend their time swimming at the beach
  • 56 percent would enjoy the sunset and sunrise
  • 52 percent would shop for souvenirs
  • 49 percent indulge in sleeping in and taking afternoon naps 

Thais are not afraid of sharks

Interestingly, 42 percent admitted that the presence of sharks does concern them, with a further 37 percent stating that they will still swim despite the danger. This differs greatly from neighbours Singapore and Malaysia – 38 percent of those polled in Singapore and 35 percent of those polled in Malaysia say they would avoid swimming altogether for fear of sharks. Despite the fear, looking good seem to rank in the top three areas when asked to list their fears during a beach holiday – they picked theft (32 percent), strong currents/drowning (19 percent), and getting sunburnt (16 percent) as their top three fears.

Survey Methodology

This study was conducted on behalf of Expedia by Northstar, a globally integrated strategic insights consulting firm.  This survey was conducted online from April 6 to April 21, 2016 across North America, Europe, South America and Asia Pacific using the Kantar-owned GMI (Global Market Insite) and Lightspeed Research amalgamated group of panels.

The study was conducted among 11,115 adults aged 18 years of age and older across 24 countries. Sampling quotas and weighting were used to ensure the sample is representative of each country’s population in terms of age and gender. Assuming a probability sample, the margin of error would be +/-0.93 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.