Japan, South Korea, and Mainland China are most appealing destinations for Thais as appetite for international travel persists: Visa study




Travelling within Asia Pacific remains popular among Thai travellers this year-end travel season, according to the Global Travel Intentions Study1 (the “Study”), the largest and longest-running global consumer insights study commissioned by Visa, a world leader in digital payments. The study found that the top five international leisure destinations for Thais this year are Japan, South Korea, Mainland China, Australia, and Singapore.

The other five overseas destinations that made it to the top-ten list include Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, United Kingdom, Taiwan, Laos, and France.  In addition, Thai respondents stated that they intend to take an average of 2.4 leisure trips over the next 12 months. Of these, nearly half (46 per cent) of respondents intend to revisit a destination they travelled to in the past 12 months, while the other half (54 per cent) plan to visit an international destination they have never been to.

Serene Gay, Visa Group Country Manager for Regional Southeast Asia said, “While Thailand is recognised as one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, Thais are also avid travellers who love exploring other countries. For more than a decade, the study has equipped Visa and our partners with an unparalleled breadth and depth of insights on the travel and payment landscape. As an important member of the tourism industry community, Visa is pleased to share these insights to help support the industry and help create memorable experience when consumers travel and pay with Visa.”

Top five key motivators for travel over the next 12 months are relaxation (67 per cent), shopping (41 per cent), exploring and learning something new (37 per cent), travelling to reward themselves (26 per cent), and going on an adventure (25 per cent).

Travellers use card payments extensively for their pre-trip preparations, especially on big-ticket items such as booking accommodation in advance (78 per cent) and airfares (62 per cent). When at their destination, travellers use payment cards to pay when shopping (44 per cent), going out to eat (41 per cent), and doing activities (40 per cent).

Taking note of the current economic environment, almost eight in ten of Thailand’s travellers (78 per cent) showed that they are cost-conscious and are aware that travel-related expenses have increased recently. Despite this, almost half (43 per cent) said they were unlikely to make any changes to travel plans, and all but five per cent are planning to continue with their travel plans.


Visa conducted the Global Travel Intentions Study in 2023 to learn about the dynamics and preferences of outbound travellers from April to June 2023. The study examined the travel trends and payment behaviour of 1,039 Thai travellers who have travelled overseas for leisure in the past year and intend to travel for leisure in the next year.


About Visa

Visa (NYSE: V) is a world leader in digital payments, facilitating payments transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions and government entities across more than 200 countries and territories. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, convenient, reliable and secure payments network, enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. We believe that economies that include everyone everywhere, uplift everyone everywhere and see access as foundational to the future of money movement. Learn more at Visa.com.