Global end-to-end travel platform Airbnb, is creating new revenue streams for Phuket through connecting global travellers with a broad range of accommodation offerings and unique experiences on the island. Airbnb travellers seek out local and authentic experiences, and choose to spend their money in the local neighbourhoods they visit. Airbnb guests are voting with their feet with guest arrivals to Phuket reaching 320,000 in the past 12 months – a growth of 61% year over year – with guests staying in boutique hotels, vacation rentals and local homes*. With guest experience a top priority, 80% of hosts in Phuket have received the highest 5-star rating on Airbnb. Airbnb’s top guest origin markets to Phuket include China, the United States, Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
With Phuket’s future intertwined with the health of the island’s tourism, Airbnb is attracting a different kind of traveller who seeks local, authentic and sustainable travel accommodation and experiences. This new generation of traveller is actively finding ways to make impactful and meaningful travel a key part of its lifestyle.
Mike Orgill, General Manager for Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Airbnb shared, “Airbnb’s proposition is diverse and complements Phuket’s current offerings. Airbnb travellers are not your average tourist, they are looking for something different and unique, whether it’s a modern villa, a creative boutique hotel or a traditional homestay. 79% of our guests book with us because they want to live like a local, and when they travel they spend in the local neighbourhoods and communities they visit. It’s this type of guest that is adding a new and positive dimension to Phuket, and is being welcomed by a large part of the island’s tourism economy.”
Last year, Airbnb saw a 152 percent increase in the number of rooms in properties around the world that hosts categorized as boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels and resorts. In Thailand, Airbnb signed an MoU with the Thai Boutique Accommodation Trade Association (TBAA) in September 2018 to onboard more than 50 boutique hotels across 15 provinces, including Phuket, Bangkok, Chanthaburi, Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi and Sukhothai.
Since then, Airbnb has seen an overwhelming response from boutique hoteliers with strong ties to their local communities and who want to offer truly personal hospitality. Opening the platform up to boutique hotels has made it easier for hospitality entrepreneurs to access new revenue streams from Airbnb’s unrivaled international network of guests, which has seen more than more than 500 million guest arrivals since it was founded 10 years ago.
New to the platform, Natthawut Cuthsriphanich, Owner of Breezotel Patong, said, “We recently listed Breezotel Patong on Airbnb and the response has been immediate. We received bookings soon after listing and Airbnb has helped us to reach out to new sectors, bringing us new business we might not otherwise have had.”
Speaking of their success using Airbnb, Vorakarn Wattasoontorn, Director of Sales at Glam Habitat, shared, “Prior to listing on Airbnb, most of our customers were from within Thailand. This has now changed. Airbnb has helped us reach out to international markets and we are now welcoming more international guests to Glam Habitat than ever before. Airbnb guests are looking for new types of accommodation and travel experiences, and now they can choose boutique hotels such as ours. This is a growing trend and something that fits well with our unique offering.”
Chananchita Maneewongviroch, Sales Executive at Blu Monkey Hub, added, “We’ve been using Airbnb for a number of years and we continue to see growth in enquiries and bookings. Airbnb is a global brand and has helped us to attract international guests. We currently average 80-90% international guests with the rest being Thai.”
*According to internal Airbnb data as of January 1, 2019.