Grab sees foreign users surge in Thailand
Ride-hailing service reports tourism spike
published : 1 Feb 2023 at 04:54
newspaper section: Business
writer: Suchit Leesa-nguansuk
Super-app Grab reported a 45% surge in foreign users of its ride-hailing service in Thailand between the second and third quarters of last year, reflecting a recovery of tourism in the country.
According to its "Travel Insights 2022" report, Thailand was voted among the top three international destinations that users of the app would like to visit the most.
The report gauged the opinion of 10,046 Grab users in the third quarter last year across six Asean countries -- Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand.
People from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the US and Vietnam were the top five foreign users of Grab's ride-hailing service in Thailand, the firm said.
"Tourism is a key sector driving growth in Thailand's economy," said Worachat Luxkanalode, country head of Grab Thailand. "The easing of the Covid-19 measures and reopening of Thailand to international visitors are pushing up the use of Grab's ride-hailing services.
"Grab saw 45% more foreign users using our [Grab] app between the second and third quarters last year."
According to the report, the top five tourist cities in Thailand are Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya and Hat Yai, respectively.
The top five tourist attractions in the country are Iconsiam, Jodd Fairs night market, CentralWorld, Khao San Road and Siam Paragon.
The furthest distance a tourist has ever travelled with Grab is from Phuket to Krabi.
According to Mr Worachat, Grab has been certified as an app-based ride-hailing service provider by the Department of Land Transport.
It aims to play a part in promoting Thailand's tourism through the provision of high-quality standard transport services for foreign users, he added.
Based on the report that covers the six Asean countries, about half of Grab's users plan to travel within the next six months, with 39% saying they plan to travel abroad.
Some 84% of respondents said they plan to travel in groups of 2-5, especially with family (59%), lovers (37%) and friends (31%).
The top three reasons for travel are "to get away" (60%), "the festive season" (33%) and "outings with friends" (25%).
Tourists are willing to seek out local experiences in various forms, especially three main experiences, comprising visiting local sights (54%), tasting local foods (51%), and experiencing local culture (36%).
According to Mr Worachat, the report indicates three main reasons that users want to travel with Grab.
The first concerns convenience in requesting a ride via the user's smartphone while the second involves safety as driver partners must have passed a screening system, including a criminal background check for at least seven years of trackable records.
The final reason pertains to transparency with the system, which shows the fare in advance.