As a platform contributing as much as THB43.7
billion to Thailand’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and supporting
113,300 local jobs in 2019, Airbnb could play a ‘critical role’ in
the recovery of the Thai tourism industry.
That's one of the findings ofn the Economic Impact of Airbnb in Thailand report
released this week by Oxford Economics. The report explored the total economic impact of
Airbnb in the Kingdom between 2015 and 2019.
Commissioned by Airbnb, the report found that
prior to COVID19, Airbnb had become a key pillar of Thailand’s
tourism industry, driving economic impact and creating
opportunities for families, small businesses and communities that
benefit from short-term rentals.
The report also highlighted the positive impact of
Airbnb guest spending on local communities as Airbnb spreads the
benefits of tourism.
Between 2015 and 2019, Airbnb guests spent a
total of THB150 billion in Thailand, growing at an annual rate of
54.8%. In 2019, Airbnb guests spent over THB19.6 billion in local
restaurants and shops, and for every THB1,000 spent on Airbnb, a
further THB420 was spent with local businesses.
Across its 99,000 listings, Airbnb welcomed 2.5
million guests to Thailand in 2019, a 27% y-o-y increase and an
almost 8-fold increase from 2015. Showing an appetite for varied
accommodation choice by travellers, average spend per trip was
THB20,376 and THB18,076 for international and domestic guests
With APAC countries dominating global travel,
Airbnb’s largest inbound market for Thailand in 2019 was Mainland
China with a 38% market share, followed by the United States
(11%), Hong Kong SAR (5%), South Korea (4%) and Singapore (4%).
Across Asia-Pacific (APAC), Airbnb’s economic
contribution grew faster than the broader tourism average as it
supported a total contribution of THB703.7 billion to the region’s
GDP in 2019. The platform also played a key role in driving the
growth of economic opportunities across the region, supporting a
total of 925,600 jobs in APAC or 1% of APAC tourism sector total
James Lambert, Oxford Economics’ Director of
Economic Consulting in Asia, said, “Airbnb is well placed to play
an important role in bringing tourists, and their spending, back
to destination economies. Airbnb could play an important role in
supporting the earlier recovery of domestic travel by helping
households, particularly those who seek to substitute an
international trip with a domestic one, discover new areas in
their own country to visit. Specifically, Airbnb can inspire
domestic travel in areas outside tourist hotspot locations by
offering unique listings and experiences across regional markets.”
Mr Lambert said Airbnb’s characteristics of
“resilience, flexibility and affordability” meant that it is “well
positioned to help accelerate the recovery of the tourism sector”.
“In this new environment, Airbnb may be able to play an important
role in providing accommodation solutions to under-supplied or
otherwise dislocated markets,” Mr Lambert said.
Economic Impact of Airbnb in
Thailand - Fast Facts
- In 2019, there were 2.5 million guests
that stayed with Airbnb in Thailand. This represents a 27%
increase from 2018 and a whopping near 8 times increase from 2015.
- In 2019, 92% of the guests staying in the
99,000 Airbnb listings in Thailand were international visitors. Of
the international guests, 63% were from Asia, marking a
significant increase from 45% in 2015.
- Through the spending from Airbnb guests and
hosts, Airbnb contributed THB43.7 billion to Thailand’s GDP in
2019, which was 5.6 times larger than THB7.8 billion in 2015. The
contribution accounts for 0.25% of the country’s GDP in 2019.
- Airbnb’s share of the tourism industry’s
contribution to the GDP multiplied more than three-fold from 0.3%
in 2015 to 1.4% in 2019.
- In 2019, Airbnb’s business supported 113,300
employees and contributed to THB8.5 billion to wages.
- The share of employment grew from 0.3% in 2015
to 1.5% in 2019.
- The main beneficiaries include: Agricultural
sector (30,500 jobs); Restaurants and accommodations (22,500
jobs); and Wholesale and retail trade (15,200 jobs).
- In 2019, Airbnb guests spent THB50.7 billion in
Thailand, representing 1.7% of total tourism spending in Thailand
in 2019, up from 0.4% in 2015. Airbnb guest spending in Thailand
between 2015 and 2019 totalled THB150 billion.
- Domestic guests accounted for 7% of total Airbnb
guest spending in 2019, totalling THB3.5 billion.
- Average spending per trip: international Airbnb
guests (THB20,376) vs domestic guests (THB18,076). The expenditure
feeds into not only the accommodation rental fee, but also
purchases from local businesses, including restaurants, retail
stores, and transportation.
- Airbnb’s presence stimulated significant
increases in many tourist areas’ contribution to Thailand’s GDP:
Bangkok (26.6%), Chiang Mai (7.7%), Phuket (5.5%), Pattaya (3.8%),
Hua Hin (1.1%).
Mike Orgill, Director of Public Policy,
Asia-Pacific, Airbnb, said, “The recovery of national economies
and the recovery of the Thai tourism industry are inextricably
linked. This new report confirms that the Airbnb community is a
proven way to grow Thai tourism, help local communities and create
tens of thousands of local jobs. While this report looks back at the
recent past, we believe it offers timely insights for the future
as we consider whether the current regulatory framework remains
relevant and fit-for-purpose. Regulation that may have worked
pre-COVID may not work post-COVID. At Airbnb, we are committed to
working hand in hand with governments, tourist agencies,
communities and other key local stakeholders in Thailand to help
restore travel in a responsible way, paving the way towards
tourism’s much-needed recovery.”