Thailand hit by travel fever

There is a drastic increase in consumer intention to travel. Overall, 69% of Thais intend to travel from June to September, which represents a 25 points increase compared to 2021 and even higher levels than in 2019.

“This year’s travel intentions reflect a real excitement for travel, overpassing pre-pandemics levels,” says Julia Ricks, Head of International Travel at Europ Assistance Group.

“Compared to 2021, we observe a significant return to international travel and higher average holiday budgets, supported by a significant decrease in covid-19 related issues that favors airplane trips and destinations like cities,” she adds.

Julia Ricks is refering to Europ Assistance’s annual Holiday Barometer, which has been published for 21 years and the results for this year has just been released. 

Average holiday budget should be higher than in 2021. In Europe, the expected holiday budget is up 14 pct. to around €1,800 (+220€ vs 2021). The Thais intend to spend up 18 pct to 62,800 THB.

Concerns about inflation and increasing prices are much present in peoples’ mind in 2022 and impact their desire to travel. This it is the case for 69% of Europeans, 62% of Americans, 70% of Canadians, 63% of Australians and 77% of Thais, who say they are being impacted by this issue.

While Covid-19 is still a consideration for travelers, it has receded as a concern.

Overall, the global level of concerns regarding all covid-19 related topics is decreasing compared to last year, especially on travel and leisure plans. For 53% of Europeans and 46% of Americans, COVID-19 has an impact on their enthusiasm regarding travel. It is still particularly high among the Canadians or the Aussies (60%) and even more among the Thai population (81%).

When they think about their next trip, health issues have still the greatest impact on the Thai respondents’ enthusiasm, followed closely by inflation, even thou the level of concern regarding covid-19 related topics is decreasing. When travelling, Thais are still willing to carefully pick their destination by avoiding certain countries and favoring close destinations. However, the level of caution decreased strongly vs 2021

When thinking about their next trip, Thai respondents still feel concerned about issues related to the sanitary crisis, but to a lesser extent than last year. The desire to travel internationally drove the will to get vaccinated.

This decrease in covid-19 related concerns leads to a significantly higher attractivity of cities even if in Thailand, cities still remain far behind seaside (58% vs 37%), countryside and mountain as travel destination.

In almost all countries observed, the average levels of booking anticipation is going up, with far more people booking their holidays sooner than last year than people doing it later. Holidaymakers from Thailand are among the most organized, as more than 50% have already booked at least part of their trip

Thai holidaymakers mostly opt for neighboring countries with favorite destinations being Japan followed by South Korea and Singapore. Weather and already knowing the destination are the most important criteria to choose the destination for Thai respondents. They also plan to choose their destination according to the health risk, inclusive of coronavirus infection.

Back to normal?

When asked about the return to “normal conditions” of travel, perceptions vary a lot from one country to another. Thais, Australians and Austrians are the most pessimistic, with half of the population thinking situation will come back to normal in 2024, after, or even never. On the contrary, Poles, Czech or Swiss are the most optimistic, with nearly 4 out of 10 saying it is already possible.

But covid-19 may have changed habits for the active population. Indeed, one quarter to one third of the active population declare that they will be working from a holiday location (“workation”). It is particularly true among Thais (70%).

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About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

View all posts by Gregers Møller

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