BANGKOK — In a bid to boost the tourism sector, which is left devastated by the global virus pandemic, room renting platform Airbnb earlier this week launched a campaign to encourage Thais and long term residents to travel around Thailand more.
The “Stay Thai, Your Style” marketing campaign is highlighting a number of holiday homes available for bookings throughout the month of December, whether for a hippie-themed trip to Chiang Mai or a staycation in Bangkok.
“In an unprecedented year where domestic travel is the new norm, Airbnb’s ‘Stay Thai, Your Style’ domestic travel campaign aims to encourage Thais and residents to rediscover the country in their own style,” the company said in a statement.
Locals and expats are also encouraged to take up the tourist experiences with Airbnb Experiences, doing everything from e-scooter street food tours and private photoshoots against the Bangkok skyline.
Although foreign tourists still can’t come visit Thailand (most of them, anyway) due to the border shutdowns, they can opt to pay for “Online Experiences” on Airbnb, like attend online cooking classes, sit down for a private chat with a fisherman, or learn about Thai LGBT culture from a transwoman, and so on.
Tourism in Thailand, once a cash cow for the country’s economy, shrank to near zero existence during the pandemic year of 2020. Fears of a potential ‘second wave’ of coronavirus outbreak in the north are also driving away some domestic travelers from the region.
On Monday, hoteliers in Chiang Rai province asked the government for help, citing mass cancellations they experienced in the wake of new coronavirus infections found among Thai nationals who illegally crossed the border from Myanmar.