New data from Skyscanner has revealed that Aussie travellers are passing on Phuket and heading to a much cheaper location that boasts beautiful secret beaches.
If you have clients looking to check out Thailand, you’re going to want to recommend Krabi.
According to Skyscanner, it has seen an 11 per cent increase in bookings to Krabi in 2017, showing that Aussies are catching on to the benefits of arriving and departing from Krabi, versus other Thai destinations.
“While Bangkok ranks highly as the 4th favourite international holiday destination for Aussies, we noticed some interesting trends while looking at our data,” said Skyscanner Senior Manager, Michael Grierson.
“First being that Phuket, which ranks 8th internationally, showed very strong growth in bookings in 2017. This suggests to us that Phuket could eventually overtake Bangkok as the new favourite Thai destination amongst Aussies.”
“Second being that while Krabi ranks much further down the list, the 11% increase in bookings 2017 suggests it could be a future favourite. It seems we’re now in love with Thailand and constantly looking to explore further than Bangkok.”
So where is Krabi?
Krabi is the west coast mainland town that is the gateway to the thousands of islands in the Andaman Sea, including the popular Phi Phi islands.
Skyscanner found that Aussie travellers could snag affordable average flight prices of $761 (with one stopover when travelling from Sydney).
These deals make Krabi the 2nd cheapest of the top six destinations in the region and Aussies could potentially save nearly $300 by travelling to Krabi over Koh Samui.
What can you do there?
Koh Adang and Koh Tarutao – They’re both in the Tarutao marine park and easily reached from Koh Lipe (which is a bit of a party island and well developed).
You can rent bungalows or camp on these islands and get a beach all to yourself with brilliant snorkelling.
Koh Bulon Lae – This tiny speck of an island is closed to visitors for six months of the year as locals like some downtime too.
This is the model of sustainable tourism with solar panels providing power. It’s pretty basic – only one ‘resort’ has 24-hour electricity. There’s next to no Wi-Fi.
BUT you can stay in one of the bungalows and spend no more than 600 baht a day, that’s $25 a day!
Bamboo Island – Koh Pai is in the same archipelago as Maya Beach in the Phi Phi islands. At just 600 meters by 700 meters you can get a true deserted island feeling on it, but it won’t stay uncrowded for long.
Koh Lanta – This is the biggest of these islands, and also the most developed – but in a good way, it hasn’t been too spoiled yet. It’s definitely on the mainstream tourism radar and popular with families and honeymooners, yet it retains some of the authenticity that has gone from Phuket.
If you’re into yoga, this is the island for you – it’s kind of like Thailand’s version of Byron Bay.
More Bangkok for your buck?
Still unsure about Krabi? August is one of the cheapest months in the year (second to May) to travel to Bangkok and Phuket from Australian cities.
Based on findings from Skyscanner’s Best Time To Book research, Aussies could save up to 9 per cent off the average fare from Sydney to Bangkok and up to 11 per cent from Sydney to Phuket, when they travel in August. Melbournians travelling to Bangkok in August can stand to save up to 11 per cent off the average fare, and up to 14 per cent to Phuket.
Travellers from Perth can save 11 per cent off the Bangkok flight and a significant 17 per cent of the flight to Phuket. Finally, Queenslanders can save 10 per cent on flights to Bangkok by travelling from Brisbane, or 19 per cent if travelling from the Gold Coast.
“August is a great time to spend in Thailand, so with the prices dropping, now is a great time for sunseekers to escape Australia’s Winter woes” said Skyscanner’s, Michael Grierson.