PHUKET: New data released today highlights how the Airbnb community is helping grow tourism in off-the-beaten-track destinations across Thailand and the Asia Pacific, and helping spread the benefits of tourism beyond big cities and major tourism hotspots.
- Off-the-beaten-track destinations in Thailand grew by 53% year-on-year, with some areas like Rawai growing by more than 92% year-on-year.
- Airbnb hosts outside of big cities and major tourist destinations in APAC earned nearly US$1bn through the Airbnb platform in 2018.
- 12 million guests checked into Airbnb listings in these destinations in 2018, growing 70% year-over-year.
Similar to other countries in the Asia Pacific, the Airbnb community is growing rapidly in off-the-beaten track destinations in Thailand. This growth is powered by travelers increasingly seeking more local, unique and authentic experiences. In 2018, the number of Airbnb guest arrivals visiting off-the-beaten path destinations in Thailand grew by 53% year-on-year and some areas with the fastest growth included:
- Rawai – 92%
- Chiang Rai -90%
- Hat Yai – 214%
- Saladan – 71%
By helping spread tourism across Thailand, Airbnb is bringing the economic benefits of tourism to local communities that haven’t shared in these benefits in the past. With up to 97 percent of the listing price going directly to Airbnb hospitality entrepreneurs, and almost 50 percent of guests’ spending occurring within the neighborhoods where they stay, the financial benefits of tourism can be significant for travel destinations.
Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy Southeast Asia, Ms Mich Goh, said the data reinforced how Airbnb was helping grow tourism right across Thailand.
“Just as important as growing tourism is making sure that the benefits of tourism are dispersed beyond big cities and major tourism destinations. This new data shows that Airbnb is not only growing local tourism – but spreading this growth all across Thailand. With Airbnb, more people and places share in the enormous benefits of tourism. More Airbnb guests going off the beaten track means more income and jobs in local communities,” Ms Goh said.
The data also revealed more hospitality entrepreneurs in off-the-beaten-track destinations – home sharers, and small, independent, and boutique hotel owners – are turning to the Airbnb platform as a way to promote their unique listings to travelers from Thailand and the world. In 2018, some of the areas with the highest year-on-year growth in active listings in Thailand included:
- Nakhon Sawan – 167%
- Trang – 84%
- Hat Yai – 65%
- Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya – 66%
- Chumphon – 61%
Airbnb also shared new data this week at Airbnb’s first ‘New Destinations Summit’ in Igualada (Barcelona, Spain), highlighting the Airbnb community model’s positive impact on communities in Europe with no — or few — hotels. Around half of municipalities in Catalonia, for example, have no hotels or other traditional accommodation options. But in almost 120 communities with no hotels in Catalonia, travel on Airbnb platform has helped boost the economy by €1.5 million.