BANGKOK, 20 August 2020: Contributing as much as THB43.7 billion to the country’s GDP and supporting 113,300 local jobs in 2019, Airbnb could play a ‘critical role’ as the tourism industry gears up for recovery in Thailand, according to a landmark report released Wednesday by Oxford Economics.
The report Short-Term Rentals Drive Economic Opportunities and Growth Commissioned by Airbnb explored the contribution nationwide between 2015 and 2019.
It found that prior to Covid-19, Airbnb had become a pillar driving economic impact and creating opportunities for families, small businesses and communities that benefit from short-term rentals.
The report also highlighted the positive impact of Airbnb guest spending on local communities as Airbnb spreads the benefits of tourism.
Between 2015 and 2019, Airbnb guests spent THB150 billion in Thailand, growing at an annual rate of 54.8%. In 2019, Airbnb guests spent over THB19.6 billion in local restaurants and shops, and for every THB1,000 spent on Airbnb, a further THB420 was spent with local businesses.
The report reinforced that Airbnb was spreading the benefits of tourism to communities off-the-beaten-track, with more than 9% of guest spending incurred outside key cities in 2019.
Across its 99,000 listings, Airbnb welcomed 2.5 million guests to Thailand in 2019, a 27% y-o-y increase and an almost 8-fold increase from 2015. Showing an appetite for varied accommodation choice by travellers, the average spend per trip was THB20,376 and THB18,076 for international and domestic guests accordingly.
With APAC countries dominating global travel, Airbnb’s largest inbound market for Thailand in 2019 was Mainland China with a 38% market share, followed by the United States (11%), Hong Kong SAR (5%), South Korea (4%) and Singapore (4%).
Across Asia-Pacific (APAC), Airbnb’s economic contribution grew faster than the broader tourism average as it supported a total contribution of THB703.7 billion to the region’s GDP in 2019. The platform also played a key role in driving the growth of economic opportunities across the region, supporting a total of 925,600 jobs in APAC or 1% of APAC tourism sector total employment.
Oxford Economics’ director of economic consulting in Asia, James Lambert said “Airbnb is well placed to play an important role in bringing tourists, and their spending, back to destination economies. Airbnb could play an important role in supporting the earlier recovery of domestic travel by helping households, particularly those who seek to substitute an international trip with a domestic one, discover new areas in their own country to visit. Specifically, Airbnb can inspire domestic travel in areas outside tourist hotspot locations by offering unique listings and experiences across regional markets.”