Millennials are becoming one of the biggest groups of travellers globally, and they are looking for new experiences and something beyond the norm to do when they travel. Today, they make up 40% of all international travelers and half of all international luxury trips are made by millennials.
This is where yachting tourism fits in; chartering boats or joining day trips out on-the-water are new experiences for many and are becoming ever more popular with millennials the world over.
For a long time upwardly mobile Thais shunned life on the water, preferring to avoid direct sunlight. But now, with sleek outdoor wear and yachting clothing that breathes and protects against the sun’s ultraviolet rays, there is a trend of more Thais going boating. Also, larger motor yachts will come with a captain and crew so passengers can enjoy their cruise with indoor air-conditioned luxury should it be preferred.
As such, the number of Thais going on day trips or chartering boats in Pattaya has increased 90% over the last five years.
The gateway to these marine leisure experiences is Ocean Marina where boats can be chartered to nearby locations for snorkeling and swimming adventures as well as picnics on deserted islands. For those that are keen on sailing, there are sailing schools that can take you from “zero to hero” in no time. Smaller dinghy boats are also available for hire for those who want to get experience from the ground up. As are kayaks and fishing boats for those who want a totally different aquatic adventure.
A huge part of millennials’ life is their social network; they want to be cool, and to be seen doing cool things. Experiences are to be shared on Facebook and Instagram, or tweeted about on Twitter, and what better eye-catching experience is there to share with your friends and followers than an on-water experience off Thailand’s stunning east coast. Sunset cruises, boat shows, regattas, beach clubs with beautiful people wearing (or not) beautiful clothes all make for great posts on your favourite social platform.
For years, it was thought that the Chinese only traveled in group packages, but the truth is group tours are declining, especially with the Chinese. Fifty percent of Chinese travelling overseas are now FITs and millennials comprise 60% of all Chinese travelling overseas. These Chinese millennials in particular are looking for more luxury travel. They want more individual experiences. Aquatic adventures offer those unique experiences.
Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show visitor demographics show a growing attendance from Thai millennials and is a market organisers are targetting to grow further in 2019 and beyond.