As many as 89% of Thais surveyed said they have traveled
overseas for leisure in the past two years, logging in five trips
in the period, and spending about THB44,000 per trip, according to
the latest Visa Global Travel Intentions Study conducted earlier
For Thailand, the Visa Global Travel Intentions
Study had a sample size of 503 and was conducted by Millward Brown
on behalf of Visa. It surveyed travelers aged 18 years and above
from January to February 2015.
The survey shows that Thai travelers typically embark on shorter
regional trips, demonstrated by the top destinations in the past
two years: Japan, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, and South Korea, in
An average trip lasts six nights and takes five hours
of journey time, while almost half of the travelers, who travel
with companions, preferred to travel with a group of friends or
colleagues rather than with their partners and spouses.
global travelers to Thais, almost three in five travel as couples
(58%) while just over one third of Thais do the same (36%).
Financial behaviors too differ between Thai
travelers and their counterparts.
“Thais are more inclined to find travel deals
that reflect their budgets compared to global travelers. While
both spend the majority of their money during the trip,
interestingly Thais use credit cards more at destinations,” said
Somboon Krobteeranon, Country Manager, Visa Thailand.
The study, conducted with 13,603 travelers
across 25 markets including Thailand, identifies a host of
changing habits and preferences among travelers around the world,
notably in how they plan, budget and spend during their trips.
However, a consistent preference to use Visa card as their primary
credit card at destinations remained across all age groups.
Since the study was last carried out in 2013,
more Thai travelers than ever are carrying their cards to their
destination, with 98% of travelers now including at least one
payment card in their holiday wallet, higher than both global
(93%) and APAC (95%) averages.
They overwhelmingly prefer to pay
with their credit cards when booking their trip (60%), as opposed
to just one in four who pays via money transfer, citing security
and personal preference as reasons for their inclination towards
credit card payment.
Independent Thai travelers are most likely to
book their trip online (81%). When at their destination, over
three-quarters of Thai travelers use their credit card for
payments, higher than the global average (68%).
While most Thai travelers budget carefully
during the planning stage (59%), in line with global preferences,
more than two-thirds do not mind going over budget if there is an
activity or experience at the destination that catches their
Thai travelers were found to spend the most on
shopping (31%), dining (22%), and accommodation (10%). Credit card
was the preferred payment method for purchases at luxury brand
retailers and high-end restaurants. In general, larger ticket
items were typically paid for by payment card.
Different Groups, Different
As more Thais travel overseas for leisure, they
also intend to spend significantly more while on holiday. Overall,
they expect their holiday budget to jump from THB 44,000 on their
last trip to THB 83,000 for their next overseas adventure.
The study delves into the behaviors of different
demographics, and distinct habits are apparent between different
age-groups with Millennials (18 to 35 years old), Mature
Professionals (36 to 44 years old), and “Superboomers” (over 45
years) all displaying unique characteristics when both planning
their trip and while on holiday.
For example, Superboomers expect to increase
their expenditure the most, with a 92% boost in their holiday
spend for their next trip compared to their most recent ones. On
the other hand, Millennials expect the smallest jump in spending
with just a 15% increase.
Millennials are more likely to start with a
budget and find a destination that suits their spending ability
(61%), however they are willing to spend extra during their trip
if they could find the right experience (73%). In the next two
year, Millennials stated that they intend to travel on up to six
international trips, 1.5 times the number of trips that
Superboomers plan to take.
As might be expected, each group has clear
differences in the kind of holiday experiences they are after.
Superboomers prefer to travel on package tours while the younger
Millennials prefer to be more independent. Safety is an important
factor when Millennials choose their accommodation (66%), while
Mature Professionals value convenience (70%), and affordability
drives Superboomers’ choices (62%). During their trip, Mature
Professionals show a greater preference for shopping (70%) while
Millennials (62%) and Superboomers’ (74%) main preference is for
Cash might still be king in Thailand, making up
about 75% of consumer expenditure, but card payments are gaining
ground, as evident that almost all Thai travelers (98%) carry
payment cards with them.
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