Over half of Thais share their travels online; domestic travel gains popularity amid rising cost of living

February 27, 2024

Thai consumers are increasingly turning to online channels for travel inspiration and to share their experiences, according to Mintel research. Before embarking on a trip, 53% of Thais use social media to explore popular destinations. After their journey, 54% share their experiences on personal social media accounts. Notably, this trend is more pronounced among young Thai travelers aged 18-24, with 60% engaging in such sharing, compared to 51% of those aged 45 and older.

“Demand for travel discounts and deal-related destinations is evident, with 44% of respondents seeking such information online,” said Wilasinee Siriboonpipattana, PhD (Kaimook), Consultant, South APAC, Mintel Consulting. “Brands targeting tourists can enhance their visibility by leveraging these platforms and offering captivating tourist photos to capture their attention.”

Mintel research shows that 44% of Thais went on leisure trips in the past year, with nearly half (20%) taking such trips 2-3 times annually. The top three reasons cited for holidaying include relaxation (70%), spending quality time with loved ones (64%), and breaking away from routine (46%).

Older consumers tend to prioritise travel for relaxation and rejuvenation compared to younger generations. For instance, 75% of Thais aged over 45 travel to unwind both mentally and physically, in contrast to 70% of those aged 25-44 and 65% of those aged 18-24.

Kaimook notes that as individuals age and contend with increased obligations and stresses, the need for relaxation and peace becomes more pronounced. “Brands can cater to this need by offering products that promote pampering and rejuvenation.”

Interestingly, older Millennials (aged 35-44) often view holidays as an opportunity to commemorate significant milestones or achievements in their lives (32%).

“Understanding the motivations for travel among older Millennials enables brands to tailor their marketing strategies to inspire journeys that celebrate personal milestones. This approach ensures that campaigns and products also resonate with those seeking meaningful travel experiences,” added Kaimook.

Rising cost of living drives Thais toward domestic tourism

Amid rising costs, domestic travel holds greater appeal for three in four Thais (76%) compared to international travel.

During travel, 30% of Thai consumers say they try different cuisines, with 49% dining in gourmet establishments such as local Michelin-starred restaurants. This underscores the allure of local culinary experiences in attracting consumers to destinations offering not only scenic beauty but also a diverse array of flavours.

According to Mintel research, Thais also express a strong desire for cultural immersion and genuine connections when traveling: 83% agree that meeting locals enhances their understanding of the communities they explore. Among Gen X consumers, this figure rises to 86%.

“Heightened by economic challenges, Thais also have a greater urge to travel domestically than before, seeking enriching experiences that foster a deeper connection with local cultures and communities,” said Kaimook. “Brands can engage tourists on a profound level, for example, by offering curated local experiences focused on cuisine or cultural landmarks, elevating their appeal beyond mere products.”

Additional information and interviews with the analyst are available upon request from the Mintel Press Office. For those interested in purchasing the full report, please visit the Mintel Store.

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