Reviews, social media influence Thai travel plans
Most respondents were open to sharing personal data for more relevant offers personalised experiences
By Boonsong Kositchotethana
When planning trips, Thai travellers often ignore the glossy pictures of travel brochures and the carefully curated Instagram feeds of celebrities.
Instead, 43 per cent of respondents in a study are influenced by the reviews of like-minded individuals on online booking sites, while 40 per cent take inspiration from social media, both sponsored content and posts from their friends and family.
This is one of four findings from research conducted by global travel technology provider Amadeus entitled “The Journey of Me Insights: What Thai Travellers want”.
The study looks into how Thai travellers plan and book their trips, how and why they want to stay connected while travelling, how frequently they use sharing economy services and the types of new technologies they would be most interested in.
In a world where people expect increasingly bespoke customer service, 79 per cent of Thai respondents are revealed to be open to sharing personal data for more relevant offers and personalised experiences.
For travel providers, the mandate is clear: personalisation must be carefully balanced against rising privacy concerns, the report said.
They will need to respect and protect personal data and the need for privacy at all times.
Above all, adhering to legislation, travel players must be able to articulate what the value is in getting travellers to share their data.
Thai travellers are also looking for the right content, through the right channel, at the right time — Thai travellers are social, and don’t want to be emailed.
“While the vast majority of Thai travellers will be interested in receiving travel recommendations from the moment they consider a trip all the way up to while they are on the trip, travel players must consider carefully how to connect with them and with what content,” the report said.
The report said 47 per cent of Thai travellers prefer to receive updates and recommendations about their trip through social media, with only 17 per cent happy to be contacted via email.
Recommendations that help them save money were the top choice for Thai travellers (36 per cent), while time-saving tips were less popular (18 per cent).
The Thai report was part of a wider Asia-Pacific report titled “Journey of Me Insights” conducted across 14 markets.
The most dominant observation that emerged is that there is no consistent profile for the Asia-Pacific traveller.