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Visa study reveals Thai habits

January 17, 2014

The latest Visa Global Travel Intentions Survey 2013 shows that affluent Thais plan to travel more and spend more when on their trips.

5-thailand-honeymoon

For the purpose of the Visa Global Travel Intentions Study 2013, Visa defined “affluent Thai travellers” as travellers with monthly household incomes of THB 100,000 or higher.

Many affluent Thai travellers apparently do not switch off on holiday, and feel the need to stay connected with 60% accessing their emails and 45% accessing instant messaging platforms during their travels. While still used, activities like sharing photos and surfing the web for leisure are less important among affluent Thais when they travel – dropping to 34% and 36% respectively.

Predictably, this group also loves their devices, carrying higher-end gadgets such as compact cameras (53%) and lifestyle devices such as e-book readers (11%) and tablets (47%) when they travel.

Travel promotions (40%), good weather (34%), and good attractions (34%) rate as the affluent Thai traveler’s three most important reasons for destination choice.

Spending habits once they reach their destinations are also evolving, with average spending per trip expected to increase three times their current expenditure from US$1629 to US$4501 for future trips.

Like most groups, affluent Thais spend heavily on retail (33%), dining (22%) and activities (19%), but spend significantly higher than the global average at medium and large retailers, high-end restaurants and on entertainment and nightlife. When paying, 93% use payment cards to make these purchases – well above the global average of 40%.

Affluent Thais took up to four trips in the past 2 years and prefer to travel with family members. Most said they made the most of weekends or public holidays by taking short vacations of 3-4 nights (40%) to short haul destinations (49%).

In addition they also prefer luxury, with a percentage purchasing first class and business class flights add up to a 30%, while economy class is 49% and booking accommodation in luxury hotels of four stars and above.

Somboon Krobteeranon, Visa Country Manager, Myanmar and Thailand said, “The new tide of affluent Thai travellers is bolder in their choices and demand a sense of adventure and personalized experiences to meet their individual interests. Thai travellers seek wallet friendly locations, good weather, and attractions. They are also more likely to spend on travel and holidays and have increased spending power – even planning to triple their current expenditure on their next trip.”

While upscale Thai travellers have a particular destination in mind while planning for their trips, they are becoming bolder when it comes to exploring unchartered terrains with eight out of 10 affluent travellers indicating in Visa’s Study that they will visit new destinations in the future.

Considering the affluent take more holidays a year – an average of four trips a year – despite the propensity to explore new destinations, Asian destinations such as Singapore, China and Japan still top their list of holiday destinations.

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