Japan set to be the top 2019 overseas destination for Thai travellers while Horse Yoga is a must-do experience for 2019

Travel can be many things to people: inspiring, magical, educational … the list goes on. Beyond that, there will always be that latest trend right around the corner as travellers continue to seek out new ways for an authentic and local travel experience.

Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven travel platform, shares some of the hottest trends for Thai travellers. Whether you are heading overseas, or exploring your own backyard, this list will help one delve into immersive ways to travel in 2019.


Japan Tops International Destination for Thai Travellers

With more than 191 countries and 81,000 cities, more than 400 million travellers are using Airbnb to call home for the holidays.

Asia reigns high on every Thai traveller’s mind with Japan taking the top spot and welcoming more than 43,000 Thai visitors in the past 12 months. Korea was second with 11,600 followed by the United States (7,450), United Kingdom (6,230) and Taiwan (5,750).

At the city level, top overseas destinations for Thai travellers were:

1. Tokyo (12,000 guest arrivals)
2. Osaka (10,400 guest arrivals)
3. Seoul (9,020 guest arrivals)
4. Taipei (4,260 guest arrivals)

Tokyo, Japan

Top Trending Global Destinations of 2019

Based on a combination of Airbnb search, booking and wish list growth data, Airbnb once again forecasts the growing interest in more off-the-beaten-path regions, cities and towns to explore.

1. Kaikora, New Zealand (295% YoY growth in bookings)
2. Xiamen, China (283% YoY growth in bookings)
3. Normandy, France (229% YoY growth in bookings)
4. Great Smoky Mountains, US (191% YoY growth in bookings)
5. Buenos Aires Province, Argentina (188% YoY growth in bookings)

Kaikora, New Zealand

Staying Home This 2019

Hosting and healthy travel on the rise as more tourists to Thailand choose to travel local

As the number of guests continues to trend upwards with more than 1.65 million inbound guests to Thailand the past year, we see more locals wanting to be a part of the sharing economy. Locals are starting to see the benefit that hosting brings thanks to international tourists who are now conscious of travelling in a more healthy and sustainable way.

According to Airbnb research, 84% of guests decided to use Airbnb because they want to live like a local while 44% of Airbnb guest spending is in the neighbourhoods where they stay. In Thailand, this trend to explore local neighbourhoods stays hugely popular. The Airbnb’s Bangkok Healthy Travel report found that 88% of Airbnb guests stay outside traditional areas with THB1.7 billion spent in local restaurants, THB1.5 billion on leisure and cultural activities, and THB800 million on groceries, helping promote economic empowerment.

Secondary destinations becoming first choice for Thai travellers

Domestic travel is on the rise. Campaigns by the Tourism Authority of Thailand have prioritised domestic travel and Airbnb’s partnerships with the Thailand Ministry of Interior’s Department of Local Administration and with B-STAY in Buriram have helped to create and support homestay entrepreneurs in secondary destinations across the country.

A combination of bookings and wishlist data by Thai travellers reveal the top secondary destinations in 2018 were:

1. Prachuap Khiri Khan
2. Nakhon Ratchasima
3. Krabi
4. Suratthani
5. Pai

Surat Thani, Thailand

Commenting on the growth of domestic travel to secondary destinations, Mike Orgill, Airbnb general manager of Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, said: “We have seen more people travelling domestically in Thailand this year as they look to get off-the-beaten-path and seek out authentic experiences. We expect this trend to continue in 2019 as people opt for a more healthy type of travel, explore lesser-known neighborhoods and learn from local residents while enjoying a more sustainable travel experience that directly benefits the local communities which they visit.”

Some unique listings that have caught global popularity is the Rice Barn and Rooms or even visiting the Karen Hill Tribes in Chiang Mai.

Long Neck Karen Hill Tribe, North Thailand

Top experiences trends for 2019

2019 is set to be an interesting year as an experience-led economy sees travellers put more value on experiences than ever before, where three in four millennials want to acquire Experiences, not things.
Here are Airbnb’s top three global Experiences trends to watch out for in 2019.

Yoga like you’ve never done before
Goat Yoga was all the craze in 2018, but it looks set to be displaced by a whole other kind of yoga – Horse Yoga. Try one of these equine-led meditative experiences – Discover the the Magic of Horses and Yoga (LaPorte County, IN), Yoga & Meditation on Horseback (Malibu, CA) or Meditate with Horses (Yorkshire, England) – to get your horse yoga fix.

Remember Beer Yoga? Well, Wine and Yoga have now matched up to provide a whole new type of relaxing meditative session, see Yoga & Wine in Santiago’s Mountain (Santiago, Chile) and Sunset Rooftop Yoga @ Airpark SH (Shanghai) for a taster of what’s in store.

In with the old (out with the new?)
Global bookings for history-based Airbnb Experiences are growing three times faster than for food and drink, and are predicted to be the most booked Experiences category in 2019. Make old cool again with the following Experiences: Private Valley of the Kings & Beyond (Luxor, Egypt), Cemetery Exploration and Voodoo History (New Orleans) and Amsterdam’s Hidden Gems by Bike (Oud-West, Amsterdam).

Love it or hate it, tie-dye is back
The doubling of keyword searches on the Airbnb platform in recent months for Indigo and Tie-dye Experiences suggest the old school fad has officially gone from not to hot. Try one of the following Experiences for size: Shibori Dye Techniques in Indigo Blue (Brooklyn), Natural Indigo Dye Experience in Bali (Bali) and Natural Dye Using Ancient Techniques.