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BANGKOK, 17 January 2014: The latest Visa Global Travel Intentions Survey 2013 shows affluent Thais plan to travel more and spend more and are using technology and gadgets as staying connected on trips is now a top priority.

Affluent Thai* travellers apparently do not “switch off” when on holiday. They feel the need to stay connected with 60%t accessing their emails and 45%t accessing instant messaging platforms during their travels. Activities like sharing photos and surfing the web for leisure are less important among affluent Thais when they travel – use dropping to 34% and 36% respectively.

Predictably, this group carries higher-end gadgets such as compact cameras (53%) and lifestyle devices such as e-book readers (11%) and tablets (47%) when they travel.

Somboon Krobteeranon

They spend more on travel

The three most important reasons for choosing a destination are travel promotions (40%) followed by good weather (34%), and good attractions (34%).

Spending per trip is expected to increase three times their current spend of US$1,629 to as high as US$4,501. Like most groups, affluent Thais spend heavily on retail shopping (33%), dining (22%) and activities (19%).

Spend is significantly higher than the global average at medium and large retailers, high-end restaurants and on entertainment and nightlife. When paying 93% use payment cards to make purchases – well above the global average of 40%.

Affluent Thais took up to four trips in the past two years and prefer to travel with family members. Most said they made the most of weekends, or public holidays, by taking short vacations of three to four nights (40%) to short haul destinations (49%). In addition they also prefer luxury, with a high percentage purchasing first class and business class flights add up to a 30%, while economy class is 49% and booking accommodation in luxury hotels of four stars and above.

Visa Country Manager, Myanmar and Thailand, Somboon Krobteeranon said: “The new tide of affluent Thai travellers is bolder in their choices and demand a sense of adventure and personalised experiences to meet their individual interests. Thai travellers seek wallet friendly locations, good weather, and attractions. They are also more likely to spend on travel and holidays and have increased spending power – even planning to triple their current expenditure on their next trip.”

Bolder destination choices

While most upscale Thai travellers have a particular destination in mind while planning for their trips, they are becoming bolder when it comes to exploring lesser known destinations with eight out of 10 affluent travellers indicating  that they would visit new destinations in the future.

Considering the affluent take more holidays a year – an average of four trips a year — Asian destinations such as Singapore, China and Japan still top their list of holiday destinations.

* Definition of affluent travelers in the Visa Global Travel Intentions Study 2013, are travellers with the following household incomes or higher: A$ 8,501 (Australia), RMB 10,001 (China), HK$ 50,000 (Hong Kong), INR 80,001 (India), IDR 15,000,001 (Indonesia), JPY 747,001 (Japan), KRW 7,000,001 (Korea), RM 15,000 (Malaysia), SGD 11,000 (Singapore), TWD 67,000 (Taiwan), Bt 100,000 (Thailand), EUR 4,851 (France), EGP 21,001 (Egypt), EUR 3,251 (Germany), USD 6,000 (Kuwait), MED 25,000 (Morocco), RUB 70,001 (Russia), SAR 20,001 (Saudi Arabia), ZAR 30,001 (South Africa), AED 25,001 (UAE), GBP 6,001 (UK), BRL 10,801 (Brazil), CAD 10,001 (Canada), MXN 82,001 (Mexico), USD 9,001 (US).

About Visa’s 2013 Global Travel Intentions Study

The Visa Global Travel Intentions Study 2013 was commissioned by Visa to Millward Brown. Fieldwork was conducted between November and December 2012. It was based on online and offline surveys with 12,631 travelers aged 18 and above, across 25 markets in Asia Pacific (Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand), Europe (France, Germany, Russia, UK), Africa Middle East (Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, UAE), and the Americas (Brazil, Canada, Mexico, US).