BANGKOK, 14 February 2019: Airbnb released new data highlighting Thailand as one of the top five global destinations for travellers from Mainland China during the Lunar New Year (CNY) holiday.
Described by many as “the world’s largest annual human migration,” the holiday closed with Thailand emerging once more in the top five destinations for Chinese travellers.
China continues to dominate Thailand’s tourism and promises further growth this year if the country can come good on its promise to deliver improved security and safety for visitors.
Airbnb’s latest data showed seven prevailing trends.
Growth and diversity of local tourism
The number of guest arrivals made by Airbnb guests from China for travel during CNY increased 100% compared to last year. Bangkok is one of the top global cities with an increasing popularity of extended trips to secondary destinations such as Chon Buri, Hua Hin, Rayong, Saraburi and Ayutthaya.
More Income for locals
Welcoming more than 44,000 guests, local Airbnb hosts earned THB186 million in extra income. During this peak CNY travel season, the typical Airbnb host in Thailand earned more than THB43,000 within the span of eight days.
Millennials continue to choose Airbnb
Users born in the 1980s and 1990s made more than 80% of bookings made by independent Chinese travellers on Airbnb for the 2019 CNY holiday. Millennials are one of the most powerful consumer demographics in the travel industry and there are more millenials in China than there are people in the US.
Travel with family
Nearly 60% of reservations made by Chinese guests for CNY travel are for groups of three or more travellers.
The rise of the experience economy
Beyond just a place to stay, Airbnb sees a rise in popularity with Chinese travellers booking Airbnb
Experiences in Thailand
Chinese travellers can connect with locals through cooking classes and biking tours in off-the-beaten track neighbourhoods, which are amongst the most booked activities.
Diversifying tourist spend
With the Tourism Authority of Thailand anticipating an 8% increase in visitor numbers this year, this allows locals to be a part of the tourism ecosystem by allowing passionate local Airbnb hosts to share their culture with Chinese travellers.
Locals are increasingly seeing the benefits of hosting especially during peak travel seasons. Airbnb’s host community in Thailand earned THB186 million in host income this CNY, which represents a 50% jump in earnings compared to CNY last year.
Airbnb’s head of public policy for Southeast Asia, Mich Goh, said the positive numbers highlighted the growing importance of the local Airbnb community to Thailand’s tourism economy.
Around the world, guests from China travelled to 1,048 cities in 111 countries and regions during CNY.
While traditional travel destinations like Japan, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Korea, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Russia, and France continued to receive Chinese travellers, the top five most popular destinations for travel outside of Mainland China were: