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Thai travelers favor Asia Pacific destinations for year-end holidays

Visa Study

The top international leisure destinations for Thais include Japan, South Korea, Mainland China, Australia, and Singapore. The study also explores key motivators for travel and payment trends among Thai tourists.

BANGKOK, THAILAND – Travelling within Asia Pacific remains popular among Thai travellers this year-end travel season, according to the Global Travel Intentions Study (the “Study”), the largest and longest-running global consumer insights study commissioned by Visa, a world leader in digital payments. The study found that the top five international leisure destinations for Thais this year are Japan, South Korea, Mainland China, Australia, and Singapore.

The other five overseas destinations that made it to the top-ten list include the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, United Kingdom, Taiwan, Laos, and France. In addition, Thai respondents stated that they intend to take an average of 2.4 leisure trips over the next 12 months. Of these, nearly half (46 per cent) of respondents intend to revisit a destination they travelled to in the past 12 months, while the other half (54%) plan to visit an international destination they have never been to.

Serene Gay, Visa Group Country Manager for Regional Southeast Asia said, “While Thailand is recognised as one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, Thais are also avid travellers who love exploring other countries. For more than a decade, the study has equipped Visa and our partners with an unparalleled breadth and depth of insights on the travel and payment landscape. As an important member of the tourism industry community, Visa is pleased to share these insights to help support the industry and help create memorable experiences when consumers travel and pay with Visa.”

Top five key motivators for travel over the next 12 months are relaxation (67%), shopping (41%), exploring and learning something new (37%), travelling to reward themselves (26%), and going on an adventure (25%).

Travellers use card payments extensively for their pre-trip preparations, especially on big-ticket items such as booking accommodation in advance (78%) and airfares (62%). When at their destination, travellers use payment cards to pay when shopping (44%), going out to eat (41%), and doing activities (40%).

Taking note of the current economic environment, almost eight in ten of Thailand’s travellers (78%) showed that they are cost-conscious and are aware that travel-related expenses have increased recently. Despite this, almost half (43%) said they were unlikely to make any changes to travel plans, and all but five per cent are planning to continue with their travel plans.

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Student at the Department of Business Administration of the Athens University of Economics and Business.