Klook sees Songkran bookings surge

Klook sees Songkran bookings surge

Foreign tourists are extending their stays in April as the government is lengthening Songkran festivities this year to 21 days, according to online travel agent Klook.

Ms Ho said during Songkran the average booking value is estimated to increase by 30% compared to the normal period, attributed to longer trips and increased activities.

Michelle Ho, general manager of Klook in Thailand and the Philippines, said the platform is working with tourism operators to offer packages for the whole month.

Ms Ho said a lot of foreign travellers have chosen to extend their stays in Thailand as they can add more activities in Bangkok and islands tours to their itinerary, on top of typical activities like joining the water festival.

She said the largest inbound markets for Thailand found on Klook so far were Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.

Bookings of these markets surged 200% in March compared to February, and the upward trend should continue in April, which has Songkran festivities.

During Songkran, the average booking value is estimated to increase by 30% compared to the normal period, attributed to longer trips and increased activities.

The growth in terms of value is still much greater than the increase in travel costs, which means people spend more.

Regarding outbound trips, Ms Ho said Klook has yet to notice an apparent surge, as the booking window for Thai tourists usually starts between the end of March and early April.

However, she believes the trend should be strong, especially among the top three destinations -- Japan, Europe and Hong Kong.

Three out of five Thais are willing to allocate up to half of their budget on unique travel experiences, such as special events, theme parks, nature and outdoor activities, according to Klook data.

Given widespread concern over a possible revocation of Japan's visa-free travel for Thai tourists, Ms Ho said the company is closely monitoring the issue, and it's too soon to speculate on the impact.

She said Japan accumulated strong bookings from Thai travellers and no changes are anticipated at present.

Meanwhile, China is also growing as a rising destination for Thai travellers, thanks to the permanent mutual visa-free scheme as it helped push searches for attractions like Shanghai Disneyland.

However, China will not overtake the top three popular destinations in the short term as it would take some time to stabilise the market.

Klook offers over 40,000 tourism packages in Thailand across more than 15 cities. It also sells tickets for the Siam Songkran Festival EDM concert.

It is also hosting Klook Summer Fest on March 15-17 at CentralWorld, offering deals for famous attractions such as in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and China.

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