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Bangkok’s resurgence in live concerts fuels Thai economy and international tourism trends

  • concert
  • Iko Putera

As international concerts return to Bangkok, the Thai economy is poised for significant gains, bolstered by a surge in inbound flights and hotel bookings. The ‘experience economy’ ushers new opportunities for hospitality professionals, aligning with forecasts that project the global music tourism market to reach $11.3 billion by 2032.

The return of popular international artists and live concerts to Bangkok offers multiple benefits to the Thai economy. There is a growing trend to travel internationally for music, sports and other major events. With the global music tourism market is forecasted to reach U$11.3 billion by 2032, Thailand has become well positioned to take advantage of this development.

In Asia Pacific alone, with its fast-growing youth population, the higher demand for live music performances is anticipated to lead the global music event market. That’s one way a steady stream of International concerts can play a significant role in Thai tourism growth with their massive crowd-pulling abilities. Taylor Swift’s Eras tour is a good example of how concerts encourage consumption in host cities, with its US leg expected to generate up to US$ 5 billion in economic activity, according to online research firm QuestionPro. This study goes beyond event ticket sales to include not just merchandise, and food and beverage but also the costs of flights, accommodation and retail sales in host cities.

With the return of live concerts approaching pre-pandemic levels, which kicked off early this year with Blackpink’s two-day Bangkok stop in January, Harry Styles and Arctic Monkeys’ concerts in March, Thailand is well on its way to benefit from the ‘experience economy’. According to Traveloka‘s data, there has been a significant increase specifically for inbound flights, with the number of flight transactions increasing by almost 5 times for the first half 2023, compared to the same period last year. This surge in flights is also reflected in the accommodation trend, as hotel bookings in Bangkok have risen to almost 30%.

In the first half of 2023, Traveloka Thailand experienced a significant number of bookings, with the majority coming from both inbound and domestic travelers heading to Bangkok. Among inbound tourists, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, England, Singapore, Malaysia, and Cambodia were the top contributors to the bookings. At the same time, domestic tourists also displayed their enthusiasm as Traveloka observed an increase in bookings from Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Chian Rai, Phuket, Chonburi, Songkla, and Suratthani to Bangkok.

Thailand enjoyed a vibrant tourism industry during the first half of 2023, and this looks to continue into 2024. This will positively affect the demand for accommodation and flights, and with added music tours making a comeback, it can also help propel the travel industry to the next level. Music tourism is not just limited to live performances, as surrounding attractions like restaurants, and historical sites can also benefit from increased visits, to name only a few examples.

With the upcoming Charlie Puth and Sam Smith concerts that will follow in October, with fast-to-sell-out Coldplay concerts scheduled for February 2024, Thailand can expect that they will bring good tourism revenue. Travel and tourism businesses with the right strategy and approach will stand to benefit from this.

According to Iko Putera, CEO of Transport, Traveloka, this is an opportunity for those in the travel & tourism industry to work on delivering experiences that are complementary to the most popular concerts and music festivals, such as city’s attractions and activities, cruises, entertainment. “What we are seeing from Traveloka data, is that international concerts in Bangkok are could be one of the key drivers for leisure travel spending across a wide demographic. Celebrating culture through music performances and entertainment should also be an integral part of Thai tourism strategies. The lineup of world-class performers for multiple shows in Bangkok serves as a remarkable achievement for its tourism industry. As a leading travel platform in Southeast Asia, Traveloka is eagerly embraces the opportunity to forge a stronger collaboration with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to make Thai tourism even better and more popular in the region.”

This success not only promises prosperity for local businesses but also presents significant opportunities for other local services such as culinary experiences, travel insurances, etc. We are hopeful this phenomenon will have a positive contribution in boosting Thai small and medium-sized tourism businesses, which benefits Thailand’s overall economy and tourism industry”, Iko added.

Traveloka continuously works to stay ahead by understanding market trends and customer preferences. The company provides easy and flexible travel planning features, with a variety of payment methods as well. This also helps Traveloka foster more meaningful partnerships with like-minded customer-focused Thai tourism businesses who can also benefit during peak concert season, like Coldplay with additional performance dates due to high demand. This showcases the growing need for flexible travel planning and experiences across a broad sector of Thailand’s tourism industry.

With dynamic travel demands and shifting travel needs, collaboration amongst industry players and government bodies is crucial to ensure different stakeholders are working towards the same objectives. Through these partnerships, a seamless experience can be ensured for tourists, starting from generating awareness about various offerings, and comparing prices and attractions, to shaping travel itineraries and enhancing the overall physical experience when they arrive in Bangkok.

Bangkok’s appeal lies in its cultural diversity and geographical location in the center of Asia. With tour promoters looking to lock in dates several months in advance, Thailand is poised to add more musical tourism to its growing list of entertainment options. This in turn will drive a strong travel ecosystem which will benefit the growth of the country’s overall development that Traveloka is proud to play a part in.

Co-Founder & Managing Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Articles

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.