A surge of low-cost flights is bringing an influx of Millennial travellers to Chiang Mai, prompting a destination reinvention.
Thailand’s Chiang Mai tourism market has undergone a millennial transformation that is now tapping into a new base of travellers seeking authentic Thai experiences.
Last year over 4.6 million arrivals at the city’s international gateway thrust the destination into a new light, with much of the tourism growth due to a rise in low-cost carriers.
According to C9’s Managing Director Bill Barnett, there is also an explosive impact of cinematic wanderlust on tourism.
“Be it ‘Eat Pray Love’ or ‘Notting Hill’, the impact of film in destination marketing is remarkable,” he said.
“While Thailand’s travel market outside of Bangkok shifted to the beach in the early millennium, a rising tide of Asian travellers and westerners increasingly want into the culture club instead of the atypical surf and turf.”
Over the past 10-years passenger arrivals have shot up by three-fold with 2013 being the turning point fuelled by the epic success of the Chinese film’ Lost in Thailand’.
Chiang Mai has been reinvented with a range of impressive new boutique hotels, a rampant art scene and budding culinary offerings the shift is resonating with Thai and foreign travellers alike. One of the most eagerly awaited entries to the creative scene was the debut of the MAIIAM Museum of Creative Art in mid-2016.
Digital media is super charging the pace of change as millennials abandon guidebooks and replace them with smartphones and a new mode of travel driven by authentic local experiences and a lifestyle of sharing thanks to Facebook and Instagram.
Don’t take our word, see for yourself: