PATA observes shift towards secondary beach destinations across the far east

PATA observes shift towards secondary beach destinations across the far east

The post PATA observes shift towards secondary beach destinations across the far east appeared first on TD (Travel Daily Media) Travel Daily Media.

Phang-nga-Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park-Khao Lak Beach


Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA UK & Ireland) has identified a growing trend in the UK market, noting that travellers are increasingly opting for secondary beach destinations.

This shift has been recognised by several PATA tour operator members, citing reasons such as increased prices in popular destinations, availability issues (as international markets boom), and therefore a lack of tactical offers available to the trade.

For example, Best at Travel has seen a surge in bookings for Khao Lak compared to popular destinations like Phuket, Samui, and Hua Hin in Thailand.

Sam Collins, Product Manager at Best at Travel and PATA tour operator member said: “From March to May 2024, Khao Lak has emerged as the top-selling beach destination, surpassing expectations with room nights and exceeding those of more mainstream locations. Similarly, Lombok in Indonesia has also seen an increase in interest among UK travellers”.

Chic Locations has also seen this trend, noting that exclusive and lesser-known destinations like Khao Lak, Krabi, Koh Lanta, and Koh Samed in Thailand are now preferred over traditional tourist hubs like Phuket and Samui. This trend is also mirrored in Malaysia, where the island of Langkawi is outselling Penang and in Bali, where retreat locations are attracting more visitors than developed areas.

David Kevan of CHIC Locations commented on this shift, stating that “mainstream destinations are losing their appeal as travellers seek more exclusive and glamorous experiences”.

Tourism boards are helping drive this trend, proactively promoting secondary destinations to the travel trade and consumers alike.

Director of TAT London, Sadudee Sangnil, said: “We have been implementing marketing and trade training strategies to promote secondary destinations for several years now with the aim of encouraging both agents and travellers to explore lesser-known destinations and create tourism dispersal to benefit more communities across Thailand. TAT’s ‘Hub & Hook’ strategy continues to be a key part of trade activity through training and fam trips and I am so pleased that operators and agents are now confident enough to sell these lesser known parts of Thailand as alternative options for travellers. It’s a trend I hope to continue to see and certainly one that we support.”

From a hotel perspective, Franco Sessini, Director of Sales, Red Elephant Reps added: “It’s been exciting to see the surge in interest from UK operators in our hotels and resorts in the ‘lesser known areas’. In Thailand, Pimalai in Koh Lanta, once considered difficult to reach, has become a destination in itself; the Bayphere Resort in Jomtien, previously overlooked due to its proximity to Pattaya, is now gaining attention for its quality and convenient location and Kon Kaen has exceeded expectations with the trendy AdLib Hotel attracting operators interest. In Vietnam, Bliss Resort in Hoi An, though not in the town centre, is drawing interest for its value and beautiful beach location.

Whilst Lombok has been on the tourism map for many years, it has always suffered at the hands of its big brother Bali. “More recently, it has begun a resurgence with new exciting resorts, such as Royal Avila, improved infrastructure, and direct international connections to major hubs. It’s great to see tour operators exploring ‘the new and the unusual’ destinations once again” said Sessini.

The surge in popularity of secondary destinations across Asia is testament to the strategic efforts of tourism boards, increased knowledge of travel agents, the evolving preferences of travellers, and the benefits of exploring less frequented places such as avoiding crowds and cost savings or added value. Increased consumer interest in discovering off-the-beaten-path experiences reflects a broader trend towards personalised and authentic travel which has further propelled these secondary destinations into the limelight. As a result, travel agents have an even wider pool of potential destinations to sell and can still find tactical offers and good margins.

It’s an exciting trend and one to watch in terms of other Far East destinations that will emerge as popular.




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Source: traveldailymedia