Most Thais planning trips abroad this year despite rising costs

According to a survey conducted in July this year, more than half of the Thai population intends to travel more, while the number of Thais planning to only go overseas has nearly doubled.

Nongluck Ajanapanya

Nongluck Ajanapanya

The Nation


File photo of a couple of aged tourists headed for their journey. PHOTO: THE NATION

October 23, 2023

BANGKOK – More than half of the Thai population intends to travel more, while the number of Thais planning to only go overseas has nearly doubled.

These figures were found in a recent survey conducted by SiteMinder, a top open hotel commerce platform.

Bradley Haines, regional vice president of SiteMinder’s Asia operations, said SiteMinder’s “Changing Traveller Report 2023” covered more than 10,000 respondents in 12 countries, including Thailand. The survey was conducted in July this year.

He said the report confirms the robustness of Thailand’s travel industry and the pivotal role played by accommodation providers.

The key takeaways from the survey are as follows:

  • Surge in travel plans: 88% of Thai respondents plan to travel at least as much as they did last year, while 53% plan to travel more. The number of Thais planning only overseas trips has more than doubled from 26% last year to 49% this year.
  • Accommodation preferences: Despite inflationary pressures, as many as 96% of Thai travellers are willing to cover more than just the cost of their room. This aligns with the changing preferences of nearly nine out of 10 Thai travellers, who now seek a “comfortable/inspiring environment”, with 57% expressing a desire to work during their upcoming trips. While this percentage is a slight drop compared to last year (65%), Thai travellers remain the second most likely, after Indians, to go on a working holiday.
  • Accommodation as a destination: On a global scale, accommodations have turned into destinations in their own right, with one in every two travellers planning to spend “most” or “considerable amount” of their time at their accommodation during their next trip. This trend is particularly pronounced among Thais, accounting for up to 77% of the respondents.

“Contrary to recent years, we are seeing a stronger intent among Thai travellers to travel internationally only and spend money, even amid inflationary pressures. We are also seeing accommodation providers play a more pivotal role than ever before. For 77% of local travellers, accommodation will serve as the destination,” Haines said.


  • Low expectations: Almost 77% of the Thai respondents said they were willing to tolerate reduced service standards due to staff shortages. SiteMinder’s report indicates that the accommodation sector is believed to be lagging in the adoption of technology.

Over 60% of the respondents believe the industry’s adoption of technology is either “average” or “behind”, while a staggering 95% believe their booking and stay experience could be enhanced with a more tech-savvy approach.

Haines pointed out that Thai travellers are increasingly tech-savvy and digitally dependent. They also cherish the opportunity to create lasting travel memories, he said.

“Through our research, we now know that they perceive the accommodation industry as being behind when it comes to technology adoption. Accommodation providers should see this as an invitation to invest in modern commerce technology that allows them to best cater to current customer needs and expectations,” he said.

SiteMinder, a leading open hotel commerce platform, empowers hotels and lodging providers to sell, market, manage, and grow their businesses. Headquartered in Sydney, the company also has offices in Bangalore, Bangkok, Barcelona, Berlin, Dallas, Galway, London and Manila. SiteMinder generates more than 100 million reservations worth over US$35 billion in revenue for hotels each year.

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