Travellers would become more price-sensitive in an unstable global economy, while the majority of Thais are worried about higher living costs and tended to spend less on travel, according to online travel agent Booking.com.
Frugal travel spending will remain a trend for the remainder of this year and going forward because the economy, inflation and wars continue to affect consumer confidence, said Michelle Gao, regional manager for the Mekong region at Booking.com.
The site conducted the 2024 travel prediction survey in July regarding travel plans for the next 12-24 months, with 27,730 respondents in 33 countries, including 1,033 Thais.
The survey found 65% of Thais were concerned about rising living costs, with 45% of them planning to stay at budget-friendly accommodation.
Some 36% plan to spend less while travelling and 33% prefer less expensive travel destinations.
People might still demand luxury services, but they are looking for lower costs, said Ms Gao.
About 65% of Thai travellers are willing to pay for a day pass to use facilities at a five-star hotel rather than staying overnight.
In terms of trip planning, 71% intend to travel in the next 12 months.
Top destinations among Thai travellers that were booked on the platform were Japan and Vietnam.
In the third quarter of 2023, which was the summer holiday, Booking.com sold over 276 million room nights worldwide, some 15% and 24% higher than the same period in 2022 and 2019, respectively.
Asia secured the highest growth at 35%, while Europe and the US experienced lower growth at double digits and single digits, respectively.
The visa-free scheme for Chinese tourists will help facilitate their visits to Thailand and attract more tourists in the long term, she said.
The platform witnessed a spike during China's national holiday in October before dropping due to surging living costs which pressured their travel decisions, said Ms Gao.
The announcement of a visa-free scheme for the India market has yet to stimulate bookings, due largely to factors like limited flight availability and high airfares.
As global travellers continue to demand flexibility, Booking.com is working with partners to offer free cancellation and flexible choices when travellers want to change their schedules.
The platform drives sustainable travel by certifying a sustainable badge for over 500,000 properties globally, including 6,500 hotels in Thailand.
It also plans to launch a new trip planner service that utilises artificial intelligence to help customers plan their holidays by next year.