Grab Thailand Targets Chinese Tourists

15 Aug 2023

Grab Thailand has noticed the increasing trend of Chinese tourists, as evidenced by a 38% growth in the number of rides in mobility services during the second quarter. The company also reveals travel insights obtained from a recent survey with the Chinese, which highlights Thailand as the top destination among other Southeast Asian countries. The five leading cities for the Chinese tourists are Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, and Koh Samui, while the Chinese tourists are expected to spend around CNY 21,309 on average per trip. Grab has taken the initiative to partner with Ant Group's Alipay+ to integrate Alipay and Kakao Pay to provide additional payment options to Chinese and Korean tourists visiting Thailand.

Grab Thailand Targets Chinese Tourists

Worachat Luxkanalode, Country Head of Grab Thailand, stated, "The tourism industry in Thailand has shown promising signs of recovery after the country's opening and as a result, over 12 million foreign tourists1 have visited Thailand during the first half of this year. The number of Chinese tourists, in particular, has significantly increased, reaching over 1.4 million people2 in the first six months (from January to June 2023). This aligns with the upward trend of Grab's foreign users, particularly in mobility services, where the number of rides by Chinese users grew by 38% in the second quarter of this year, comparing with the previous quarter."

Recently, Grab conducted surveys with 3,000 Chinese living in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen regarding their travel plans to Southeast Asian countries within the next six months. The provided insights are as follows:

  • Destination: Thailand (71%) ranked as the No.1 destination in Southeast Asia that the Chinese are interested in traveling to, followed by Singapore (66%), and Malaysia (53%), respectively.
  • Purpose of travel: The majority of Chinese tourists (97%) are interested in coming to Thailand for sightseeing or leisure, followed by business trips (2%), and visiting friends and family (1%).
  • Size of travel group: Most Chinese tourists (81%) prefer traveling in small groups of 2 - 4 people, followed by larger groups of 4 or more (10%), while a small proportion chooses to travel solo (9%)
  • Most popular cities: Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, and Koh Samui are the top 5 destinations in Thailand.
  • Travel duration and spending: Chinese tourists typically plan an average stay of 7 days in Thailand and budget their trip's expenses approximately CNY 21,309 (or THB 103,0604).

"Chinese tourists are the key focus and one of the strategic target markets for Grab this year. Our platform is well-known among Chinese tourists because it offers a wide range of services, from ride-hailing to delivery services, with high safety standards, pricing transparency, and easy brand recognition. Besides, it provides an extensive service coverage across many countries. This helps build credibility among tourists and leads to positive word-of-mouth recommendations."

In the past two quarters, Grab has implemented several initiatives to target Chinese tourists. These include conducting online marketing campaigns in collaboration with key partners to reach Chinese tourists, partnering with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to promote tourism with Grab & Go guidebook in the Chinese language as a highlight, and currently developing a Chinese language menu in the app aiming to pilot in tourist cities.

"To better serve the Chinese user. Grab is joining forces with China's most popular digital wallet and payment system, Alipay, which is used by more than one billion Chinese consumers and is the app of choice for Chinese tourists in Thailand. This collaboration aims to enable seamless payments via Alipay when using Grab services. Besides, Grab has been partnering with Kakao Pay, a lifestyle financial platform for South Koreans, to facilitate the payment for Korean tourists visiting Thailand. These services will be rolled out progressively to these wallet users and are expected to be fully operational by the third quarter of this year," added Worachat.

1,2 Reference: Statistics of foreign tourists traveling to Thailand in 2023 between January - June 2023 by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
3A survey of 3,000 Chinese tourists from different cities who plan to travel in Southeast Asia within the next 6 months conducted by Grab (March 2023)
4Exchange rate as of August 2,2023 by Bank of Thailand

Grab Thailand Targets Chinese Tourists