Thailand’s seniors become the world’s most active Airbnb hosts and guests

Thailand: Thailand seniors (over the age of 60) account for the highest proportion of senior guests on Airbnb, according to recent research.

Across Thailand, the number of seniors who have booked on the platform grew by 61.69 per cent over the last year and that figure is expected to rise further as a quarter of the country’s population are expected to be aged 65+ by 2040.

It comes as part of a wider trend as senior guests are now the fastest-growing of any age group on Airbnb, with the number of seniors who have booked on the platform rising by 66 per cent over the last year.

Airbnb’s president of homes, Greg Greeley, said: “It’s perhaps no surprise that we’re seeing such strong growth in this demographic. Seniors are healthier and wealthier than they’ve ever been, while also tending to take more and longer trips than other age groups.”

Some of Thailand’s trending destinations to have experienced the highest year on year increase in bookings since 2017 include Rawai and Kathu in Phuket and Chiang Mai.

Thai senior Winai Kharuwannapat said: “I have used Airbnb for more than four years already and the hosts that I have experienced have all been excellent, very considerate and they take care of me as if I am a member of their family.

“They also make some very useful local recommendations which is very helpful. I screen Airbnb hosts in advance by looking at reviews from previous guests and this gives me peace-of-mind and confidence when I travel.

“Pricing is always reasonable and the quality of accommodation good, and often Hosts assist with airport transfers making my travel convenient and enjoyable,” he added.

There are now reportedly over 400,000 senior hosts on Airbnb’s database worldwide. In 2017, senior hosts around the world hosted over 13.5 million guest arrivals at their properties and welcomed travellers from over 150 countries.

Happy Thai Experience host Sirichan said: “I first become an Airbnb host two years ago. My home is quite unique, over 100 years old, and I wanted to share its fascinating Thai architectural legacy with visitors who wished to experience something traditionally Thai while learning to cook Thai food.

“Since then I have made many friendships from being a host. It’s almost like becoming a member of a guest’s family and I have enjoyed sharing moments of happiness together,” she added.

In Thailand, there are more than 1,495 senior hosts on Airbnb, representing a year-on-year increase of more than 26 per cent. Senior hosts are also rated as the best-rated host age group in Thailand with more than 83 per cent of reviews of senior hosts receiving five stars.

Siew Kum Hong, Airbnb regional director, said: “Known for their renowned welcoming hospitality and as avid world travellers, it’s not surprising that seniors in Thailand are aging meaningfully by embracing the home sharing community.

“As the travel industry continues to grow, Airbnb promotes tourism that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive, and sustainable, creating new economic opportunities for hosts in the homes and communities where they live,” he added.

Seniors are also leading a growing trend in Airbnb bookings: multi-generational family travel, where the booking guest is a senior travelling with children or an infant.

This is a rapidly-accelerating trend on Airbnb: multi-generational family travel bookings have grown by 75 per cent in the past year. Furthermore, in 2018, over half of these multi-generational bookings have been by first-time bookers new to the Airbnb community.

Thailand has also seen a 55 per cent growth in multi-generational travel; more than 40 per cent of which are first-time bookings.