(CTN NEWS) – A recent study conducted by Oxford Economics has shed light on the pivotal role played by Airbnb in Thailand’s booming tourism industry.
The study, commissioned by Airbnb, reveals the impressive economic impact of the platform on the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and job market.
In 2022, Airbnb made a substantial contribution of 31 billion baht to Thailand’s GDP, and it supported nearly 56,500 jobs. This contribution accounted for approximately 1.7% of the overall GDP contribution of the entire tourism industry.
These numbers underscore Airbnb’s significance as a major player in Thailand’s economic landscape.
One of the most noteworthy findings of the study is the multiplier effect of Airbnb guest spending within local communities.
Airbnb guests injected a staggering 41 billion baht into Thailand’s economy in 2022, covering expenses related to dining, retail, transportation, and accommodation.
This figure represents a remarkable 500% increase from 2021 and an impressive 72% of the pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019. On average, each guest spent approximately 34,000 baht during their stay, making a substantial impact on the local economy.
Shifting Travel Behaviors: Airbnb’s Impact on Long-Term Stays and Rural Tourism in Thailand
Moreover, the report delves into two significant shifts in travel behavior that have emerged since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
First, there’s been a rise in long-term stays (defined as stays lasting 28 nights or more) driven by flexible work arrangements. Second, there’s been a dispersal of tourism away from traditional urban centers.
As international travel rebounded, the United States emerged as Thailand’s largest source market, contributing to 14% of total international Airbnb guests.
Long-term stays constituted a significant portion of all guest nights in Thailand in 2022, making up 35.6% of the total, which is a remarkable increase from the 13.9% recorded in 2019.
This shift signifies that more travelers are opting for extended stays, providing a boost to local economies.
The report also highlights Airbnb’s ability to distribute the benefits of tourism spending beyond major provinces like Bangkok and Phuket. Guest spending increased in regions such as Koh Samui, Pattaya, and Krabi between 2020 and 2022.
Koh Samui, in particular, witnessed an impressive 12% surge in spending, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.
James Lambert, Director for Economic Consulting in Asia at Oxford Economics, pointed out that Airbnb played a substantial role in the resilience and recovery of Thailand’s tourism sector after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Airbnb’s Transformation of Thai Tourism: From Urban to Rural, Short Stays to Long-Term, and Beyond
The platform facilitated trends such as the shift from urban to rural destinations and the increased demand for long-stay trips.
Mich Goh, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, emphasized the economic ripple effects created by Airbnb’s contributions to GDP and job creation.
These effects have not only supported the growth of local businesses but have also created numerous job opportunities for locals.
The rise of long-term stays since 2020, fueled by flexible work policies and initiatives like Airbnb’s “Live and Work Anywhere” collaboration with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, has also been instrumental in attracting guests who stay longer and spend more per trip.
In conclusion, Airbnb remains steadfast in its commitment to working closely with governments and communities to rebuild tourism economies equitably, inclusively, and sustainably across Thailand.
The study’s findings highlight Airbnb’s pivotal role in Thailand’s tourism landscape, underscoring the platform’s significant economic contributions and its ability to adapt to changing travel trends in a post-pandemic world.
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