Thais gear up to flock the beaches this Songkran holiday

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Thais are on the move this Songkran, heading to beach destinations and choosing higher end hotels to celebrate the upcoming Songkran holiday, according to data from digital travel platform, Agoda. Coastal destinations have scooped seven of the top ten spots, with Phuket taking the most booked destination spot during 2021 Songkran, jumping to number one spot from fourth in 2019, and knocking Pattaya off the top into second place.

Other beach destinations dominate the 2021 list include Hua Hin/Cha-am (No. 3), Krabi (No. 4), Koh Samui (No. 5), Khao Lak (No. 6) and Koh Chang (No. 9). Bangkok dips to seventh spot from second in 2019. With international travel off the table, Koh Samui (No. 5), Khao Lak (No. 6), Koh Chang (No. 9), Khao Yai (No. 10) make it in the top ten this year, ahead of Tokyo, Rayong, Kanchanaburi, Chonburi.

After a year of on and off lockdowns, people seem to be keen to travel together with group travellers, including families, the top traveller type. Travelers this year are also looking to pampering themselves opting for 4–5-star hotels, a change from 2019’s preference for 1-3.5-star hotels.

“Songkran marks the beginning of Thai New Year. Recovering from two periods of COVID imposed lockdown, Thais are being a little more indulgent rewarding themselves and their loved ones with upgraded stays to 4-5 star properties. Phuket, Pattaya, and Hua Hin/Cha-am lead the top destinations this year, according to our data. But domestic travelers are also choosing destinations once deemed crowded with international tourists such as Koh Samui. We are also seeing a big pick up in popularity of lesser-known beach destinations like Koh Chang,” said Timothy Hughes, vice president of corporate development in Agoda.