Survey: Travellers most sensitive to prices

Survey: Travellers most sensitive to prices

Post-pandemic trips built on promotions

Travellers browse hotel deals at a fair. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)
Travellers browse hotel deals at a fair. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)

Thai tourists are keen to travel by taking advantage of promotional campaigns and have become price-conscious consumers when venturing out again during the post-pandemic period, according to a Booking.com survey.

Michelle Gao, Booking.com's regional manager Mekong region, said even though Thai travellers display the strongest intent to take trips to nearby destinations accessible by cars (73%), which is higher than the global average at 58%, decisions mainly involve value and more flexible planning, as 85% of Thai respondents look for free cancellation.

Booking.com conducted a survey of 20,934 respondents who travelled during the past 12 months and are planning trips in the next 12 months from 28 countries globally, including Thailand during July.

In the survey, 78% respondents said they will care more for prices when searching and planning their next trips, a behavioural pattern that is expected to carry on for many years.

The survey also found that 60% of travellers are ready to repeat cancelled bookings, while 51% said they would like to take more trips to compensate for missing experiences in 2020, of which most respondents were Gen Z (59%) and Gen Y (58%).

As most countries in the region rely heavily on inbound arrivals, the domestic market alone cannot support a fast recovery, especially when compared with travellers from countries with strong domestic demand such as China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.

Ms Gao said a travel bubble set up like the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble will be very good practice for other countries in Asia-Pacific.

The process to set up this tourism plan will take time and effort between the governments, tourism organisations and service providers to ensure confidence in high levels of safety is maintained.

Due to the global outbreak, the upcoming year promises uncertainty, she said.

Even though potential vaccines are on the way, the question of distribution remains.

The decision to reopen borders and regulations on quarantine from the governments are among the uncertainties.

During the virus spread in April, the number of bookings dropped 80% year-on-year globally before recovering to a 35% decrease during the third quarter, while global revenue in the third quarter decreased 48%.

"Booking.com has already completed the restructuring process during the third quarter in Asia-Pacific," Ms Gao said. "The company had to cut around 25% of the global workforce in order to be lean enough to face uncertainties."

The restructure allows the company to focus more on investment in technology and raise efficiency.

The company has to stay agile to catch up with changing tourism demand such as working vacations or short-distance travel, she said.

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