Agoda: Searches soar for Thai destinations

BANGKOK 1 July 2024: As the rainy season sets in there’s an uptick in searches for Thailand’s secondary cities, Agoda observes in its latest Thai travel market report.   

Based on accommodation searches, Agoda identifies so-called secondary cities in Thailand: Chanthaburi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nakhon Nayok Ratchaburi, and Chiang Rai.  

Chiang Rai’s main tourist season was cut short by forest fires. The smog was deemed a serious health hazard for the province’s elderly residents and children. However, the early onset of the rainy season revived domestic bookings, although hoteliers report that June to September performance metrics — average room rate, REVPAR and occupancy — are well below the pre-pandemic seasonal averages. Despite the serious lack of direct flights from gateway cities in Asia, of the five destinations, Chiang Rai gains the most interest from international travellers. In response, AirAsia (AK) is planning three-weekly direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Chiang Rai starting 2 November. The first international flights since the Covid pandemic.

Agoda’s assessment based on traveller interest shows secondary cities gained 23% growth in searches compared to 2023, highlighting improved popularity but not necessarily conversion to more paying guests. 

Nakhon Nayok, due to its relatively close proximity to Bangkok  gained the highest increase with double the number of searches. 

“This upward trend underscores the expanding appeal of these regions as travellers seek out unique and enriching experiences beyond the usual tourist hotspots,” Agoda argues.

Agoda Thailand Country Director Pierre Honne says: “The interest in Thailand’s secondary cities shows a desire to delve deeper into the country’s diverse offerings. Our collaboration with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to promote these destinations is indeed paying off, as we see with their growing popularity. Agoda is enthusiastic about assisting in TAT’s efforts to highlight Thailand’s secondary cities’ cultural, historical, and scenic treasures.”


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