Expedia, the company behind the travel-booking website, has announced plans to expand into the Thai market, with the launching of a new booking service that promises to help travellers, regardless of whether they’re headed for a luxury hotel in Bangkok or a wedding venue in Rayong, save money on their trips.
General Manager for Southeast Asia and India Simon Fiquet says that the new service, which they’ve dubbed the Expedia Add-on Advantage, was launched in Thailand on the 7th of August. The service guarantees discounts from participating hotels, not only in the Kingdom, but also in other countries across the world, should they book flights or packages (flight + hotel) from Expedia, allowing for savings for anyone heading for a wedding venue in Rayong, or a hotel in Japan. Currently, it’s only for Expedia.co.th, so travellers heading from Thailand are the only ones who can benefit from it, at least at the moment.
Travellers who have booked from Expedia will be guaranteed a discount, Fiquet says, at least 10%, up to even 51%. For the Kingdom, there are between 2,000 to 3,000 hotels part of the service, though airlines part of the service will not be offering discounts.
According to research by the company conducted earlier in 2018, Thai travellers ranked in as the most frequent flyers in the region, with averaging in at 10.1 flights annually. In spite of such good numbers, just 36% of the Thai people bundle their flight and hotel into a package, 37% of them book their flight before making their hotel arrangements, so there’s a good chance of them losing money by not packaging them together.
The study also found that tourists that prefer to choose big chain hotels, with 69% of travellers and 52% in Thailand option for that, followed by boutique hotels at 51%, and 44% globally and Thailand, with the other types of accommodation following that.
Fiquet says that this new service was created to make it more convenient for travellers to book with additional benefits, and that they are giving them a way to bundle and save, which will bring in savvy travellers who need more time and flexibility for booking their trip.
Expedia believes that the service will boost online booking, which has been growing across Thailand, on top of encouraging foreign tourists to head for the country, strengthening tourism business in popular destinations for Thai people, like Japan and Taiwan.
According to Fiquet, many millennial tourists are turning to social media to book their hotels and flights, which means that the online booking business is likely to see continued growth in the future. In the Asia-Pacific region, online booking saw an increase of about 15% last year, higher than the global average of 5%.