As travel sees a comeback in the new normal, Airbnb sees an emerging trend across Asia-Pacific as people take their work from home learnings to enjoy extended work-cations and opt to live anywhere.
According to a recent YouGov survey commissioned by Airbnb 87% of Thai people found an extended work-cation appealing, the most of any country surveyed in APAC. This interest to work from anywhere is supported by a growth in long-term stays on Airbnb’s platform, with Thailand ranking second globally with the greatest share of long-stay bookings.
Driving Thailand’s desire to work from anywhere is the ability of its workforce to do so, following a global pandemic that has kickstarted a work-from-home revolution. According to the survey findings, since the start of the pandemic one in three workers (34%) in Thailand were allowed to work from home by their employers, while more than half the workforce (51%) have always been allowed to work from home.
The rise of the work-cation
With an increased ability to work from home there is also a growing desire for people to combine work and travel and take extended work-cations. While for some a change of scenery is the most appealing aspect of working from somewhere other than home, for Thais it is the prospect of reinvigorating their work life (58%) that appeals most while the ability to combine work and holiday is also high on the priority list for Thai people (47%).
Quieter, more off-the-beaten-path locales, coastal and rural work-cation destinations are most popular with Australian and South Korean survey respondents. For Thais, however, the preference is to take an extended work-cation in other urban destinations (46%). Coastal (41%) and rural (31%) destinations are second and third choices with taking a work-cation overseas the least appealing (29%).
Trending long-term stay destinations in Thailand
The desire to travel and work domestically, and in major destinations, is reflected by Airbnb booking data, as Thailand is among the most popular destinations in the world for long-term stays on Airbnb.
Some of the trending Thai destinations for long-term stays include:
Prachuap Khiri Khan
“As the pandemic is changing how people want to work, travel and live, we believe Airbnb provides diverse travel options suited to changing consumer preferences,” said Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager (India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan), Airbnb. “While travel in Thailand continues to trend towards domestic, as the country slowly re-opens and with the introduction of the Special Tourist Visa, the diverse array of long-term stays on our platform provides a wide range of attractive options for domestic and regional tourism.”
An established tourism destination that welcomed almost 40 million international visitors in 2019, Thailand is popular with long and short haul visitors and has for a long time appealed to long-term visitors, especially from snowbird markets. The recently launched Special Tourist Visa appears to be the first step in re-opening the country and attracting long stay international travellers, and as the region follows suit re-opening their borders, Thailand is well positioned to become the destination of choice for work-cations.