Phuket beaches: a good value by Hotels.com

Booking website Hotels.com has revealed that Phuket’s Kathu district, home of Patong and Kamala beaches, was among the top five destinations for affordable five-star accommodation in 2017.

Patong and Kamala are known for nightlife and beach parties, as well as food and outdoor activities.

Affordable five-star accommodation also attracted visitors travelling in groups or with family and friends in 2017.

“Interestingly, Taiwan has jumped to the ninth most favourite destination among Thais from 13th last year,” said Jessica Chuang, regional marketing director for Greater China, Southeast Asia and India at Hotels.com.

Thais are finding that with less than four hours of travel to Taiwan (as compared with a flight to Japan), they can enjoy weather and experiences similar to what they might find in Japan.

One reason for the upsurge is a tourist visa exemption for Thai citizens announced last year, according to Taiwan’s Department of Information and Tourism, which also recorded a nearly 80% rise in Thai tourists visiting Taiwan monthly in 2017.

The top five most popular destinations for affordable five-star accommodation — spanning resorts, high-end chains, villas and luxury boutiques — were Kathu; Kuala Lumpur; Istanbul; Riga, Latvia; and and Bogota, Colombia.

In Southeast Asia, the CLMV region of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam saw an increase in intra-regional travel.

Vietnam topped the list of regional countries for Thais to visit (and ranked sixth overall), with travellers drawn to the country’s transport infrastructure, picturesque destinations for social sharing, the rising popularity of the local cuisine, and strong value for five-star accommodation, which saw a 4% decrease in prices from 2016.

Among neighbouring countries, Myanmar still trails in popularity among Thai travellers (19th overall) despite accommodation prices decreasing by 12% overall.

Average accommodation prices in Cambodia (12th) and Laos (18th) rose by 4% and 9% from 2016.

Johan Svanstrom, president of Hotels.com, said that a slight increase in average accommodation prices globally, combined with numerous markets posting record visitor growth, signals a strong travel economy…

Courtesy: Bangkok Post

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