Airbnb welcomes 5 million visitors to the Mekong, injects US$1.67bn into local economies

At the inaugural Mekong Tourism Forum 2018 in Nakhon Phanom, Airbnb announced the milestone of 5 million guests in 2017 to the Greater Mekong region, namely Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. This marks a significant 147 percent growth year-over-year.

These guests contributed a total of US$1.67 billion in economic activity, benefiting hundreds of thousands of hospitality entrepreneurs and local businesses across the Greater Mekong region.

In turn, the Greater Mekong region accounts for a significant number of Airbnb users. More than 7 million travellers from the region traveled with Airbnb to other destinations, creating offline connections across borders and cultures.

Additional findings include:

On intra-Greater Mekong travel

  • More than 60,000 guests on Airbnb traveled consecutively to two or more countries within the region in 2017.
  • Of these travelers, almost 50 percent of them began their intra-region trips in Thailand.
  • Topping the list of most popular travel chains (i.e. chain of Mekong countries that guests on Airbnb travel to consecutively) is Thailand-Vietnam, and vice versa. This is followed closely by Thailand-Cambodia, Vietnam-Cambodia and Thailand-China.

On country and region-specific travel

  • Notably, Airbnb experienced powerful growth in China and Vietnam.
    • China – 205 percent year-over year growth in inbound guest arrivals, 103% year over year growth in outbound guests arrivals
    • Vietnam – 145 percent  increase in inbound guest arrivals, 158% year over year growth in outbound guest arrivals
  • Thailand, Airbnb’s second largest market in the Greater Mekong after China, welcomed 1.2 million guests alone in 2017.
  • In Myanmar and Laos, locals are increasingly embracing traveling with Airbnb. Outbound guest arrivals in Myanmar grew 169 percent yoy, while the number of local hosts opening their homes to tourists increased 85 percent year over year. Similarly, outbound guest arrivals in Laos grew 100% year over year.
  • 68 percent of all guests traveling with Airbnb to the region were under 30 years of age, and 31 percent between 30-60 years of age.
  • 54 percent of all guests traveling with Airbnb to the region were female, and 46 percent male.
  • The top 10 countries of origin of guests traveling with Airbnb to the region are: China, the US, Singapore, Korea, Thailand, the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia and France.


Mich Goh, Head of Policy for Southeast Asia says,

The Greater Mekong is one of Airbnb’s fastest growing regions, and we continue to grow in the region because tourists increasingly want new, adventurous, and local experiences when they travel.

We offer travelers a wide variety of unique quality accommodations across the region, and Airbnb Experiences in three markets — China, Thailand and Vietnam. We are proud to share that we launched Experiences in Chiang Mai just yesterday. Chiang Mai is one of our fastest growing markets in Thailand, and we believe the introduction of Experiences will continue to support the creative and cultural capital as it continues to grow as a popular travel destination both in the region and globally.

Airbnb is empowering local hospitality entrepreneurs and strengthening local communities through healthy, sustainable tourism. With travel and tourism growing rapidly, it is critical that as many people as possible are benefiting and Airbnb hosts are providing the type of travel that is best for destinations, residents, and travelers alike in the Greater Mekong.