Thai travellers prioritises health and safety, contactless experience

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A new report by SiteMinder, the world’s leading open hotel commerce platform, sheds light on an evolved Thai traveller, with significantly more demands and higher expectations of the hotels they plan to visit in the months ahead.

SiteMinder’s Changing Traveller Report 2021, based on the survey responses of more than 850 Thai holidaymakers, has found that while over 60% of travellers plan to travel as much (17%) or more (46%) than prior to Covid in the coming year, almost 9-in-10 (89%) now have the same or higher expectations of accommodation providers.

The enthusiasm to travel presents good news for Thailand’s hotel industry—which has been sustained largely by domestic travel through the pandemic— but also serves as notice for hoteliers to work smarter in order to meet the heightened standards of their future guests.

Bradley Haines, regional VP – APAC, Siteminder

“SiteMinder’s Changing Traveller Report provides hotels with a pleasing insight into the current state of mind of Thai travellers. It should bring confidence to hotels to know the level of pent-up demand currently amongst locals,” says Bradley Haines, regional vice president Asia Pacific at SiteMinder. “The findings do also clarify, however, that now is a critical time for accommodation providers to be elevating their offering.”

Safety remains a top priority and direct bookings continue to rise

For Thai travellers, a property’s health and safety practices remain the most important factor as they decide where to stay. A property’s health and safety practices feature among the top two priorities of more than 42%, followed by the ability of a property to create a contactless experience.

When arranging their accommodation, 53% of Thai travellers plan to book directly with their chosen venue, with over 40% stating they will book directly online and 12% stating they will book directly via either phone or email. This compares to the 24% that plan to use an online travel agency.

“While adapting to meet new expectations, creating a safe experience is crucial, but it is only one aspect of what local operators need to be focusing on. Hoteliers should be considering their customers’ full experience, and this extends to how they book their stay,” continues Haines. “Our data suggest that guests are now seeking a closer connection to the venue they are staying with, which means that hotels need to ensure their website is full of insightful, up-to-date content, and that includes compelling direct rates and promotions. Of course, hotels should also make sure that potential customers can book in an easy, secure and mobile-friendly way in order to meet the elevated expectations of travellers.”

Interestingly, more than half of Thai travellers will either definitely (19.74%) or likely (31.26%) be working while on the road on an upcoming trip, highlighting the need for hoteliers to also be well set up for this segment.

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