Thailand Sees Increase in Tourism Spend Over Chinese New Year

Phuket Airport held the Chinese New Year 2024 Celebration with dragon dance and lion dance performances.

BANGKOK – Data from Trip.com Group, a global travel service provider, has revealed that Thailand will see an increase of 44.3% in total trip expenditure for inbound bookings when comparing this year’s Chinese New Year (CNY) festive period with the same period last year. The expenditure for outbound travellers is increasing by 70.8%.

Part of the reason for increased spending could be due to Southeast Asian tourists making longer-haul trips, with more travellers travelling beyond Southeast Asia (SEA) for the 2024 CNY period. Last year, 72% of CNY travel was intra-SEA, but this has gone down to just over half (50.2%), with the other half visiting destinations further afield.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, SEA countries which have public holidays for Chinese New Year (Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei) are seeing more travel during the week of CNY than countries which do not have CNY public holidays (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar).

Chinese New Year
To celebrate Chinese New Year 2024, the Koh Samui District unveils the 10-metre-long Coconut Dragon, which is made up of components from every section of the coconut tree.

In the week of CNY, countries with CNY public holidays make up 69.1% of all SEA bookings, versus 59% of all SEA bookings for the week before CNY.

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Another two trends that cut across markets are the lengthening of booking windows, and the popularity of theme parks.

Travellers are now planning their trips further in advance, with the booking window for trips originating from Thailand more than quadrupling – from nine days to 40 days – this CNY compared to last year.

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This was similar to Malaysia, where the booking window surged from 12 days to 51 days, with Singapore seeing an increase of two and a half times – from 18 days to 46 days.

Vana Nava Water Jungle, Phuket

Meanwhile, theme parks rule the roost for most popular attractions for tourists from Southeast Asia. Hong Kong Disneyland is the top choice for travellers from Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, with Universal Studios Japan; Tokyo Disneyland; Universal Studios Singapore; and Warner Bros Studio Tour Tokyo – The Making of Harry Potter making up the rest of Thai travellers’ top five overseas attractions.

Ms Diane Cui, General Manager, Trip.com Thailand, said: “Last week, we collaborated with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to host a Super World Trip BOSS Live livestream session in Bangkok, which grossed THB100 million of GMV in a day. We are expecting the travel industry in Thailand to continue its healthy recovery this year, especially with the recent signing of the visa-free travel agreement between the Thai and Chinese governments, and look forward to welcoming more visitors from around the world to this beautiful country.”