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US remains top source of Thailand's hotel guests

The US is still the largest feeder market to Thai hotels, while China has surpassed Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea for second place, according to a report by Expedia Group.

Demand for hotels from Americans has grown by 20% year-on-year.

Another rising country is India, which breached the top 10 list of feeders to Thai hotels this year.

Pimpawee Nopakitgumjorn, director for market management at Expedia, said the company is contributing to Thailand's tourism growth.

Ms Pimpawee said Expedia's multiple travel brands spurred overall inbound demand to Thailand to grow by 10% year-on-year over the past 12 months.

"More than 60% of bookings made by Chinese and 55% of bookings made by Indians were in four-star and five-star hotels," she said. "This is in line with the government's focus on attracting more high-end arrivals from China and India."

In terms of popular destinations, Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya are still the most visited cities among Chinese and Indian travellers.

Hua Hin, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lipe emerged as rising markets with triple-digit increases in demand.

Expedia's research found that the United Arab Emirates, Israel and South Africa were emerging high-value markets for hotels. Travellers from these markets typically spend 15% more on accommodation and stay one day longer than the average for international tourists.

Some 70% of total bookings made by these nationalities were in four-star and five-star hotels.

UAE, South African and Israeli travellers prefer staying in Bangkok. Data shows that UAE travellers prefer coming to Thailand from June to September and December to January, while both Israeli and South African visitors prefer December to February.

The data revealed China as the fastest-growing market for travel packages, with demand soaring 200% year-on-year. Nearly a third of international package bookings were made by Chinese.

India is the second fastest-growing market with package demand up 160% year-on-year.

Other markets with triple-digit growth in package demand included Ireland, South Korea and Indonesia.

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