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Neighbouring Thailand is top destination for Myanmar travellers: Grab data

Myanmar travellers love Thailand! Based on our data from last year, Myanmar Grab users booked a third of their overseas rides in Thailand.

(Well, they do share a border!)

The findings are part of a broader trend that see Southeast Asians travelling more than ever, many of them within the region. According to the ASEAN Secretariat, intra-ASEAN travellers in 2015 already made up 42 per cent of the region’s overall tourist numbers. The intra-Southeast Asian traveller segment today accounts for over 37 million trips, according to Grab market research data.

That’s all of you – all travelling for work and play. So, to cater to Southeast Asia’s road warriors, frequent travellers and savvy trippers, Grab is launching a new suite of travel benefits for Grab Platinum, Gold and Silver users travelling across the region. The programme has signed up more than 150 partners in all of the major airports across Southeast Asia including Yangon International Airport. Benefits and deals include access to close to 70 lounges in the region, at rates of up to 55% off, and discounts of up to 20% at over 80 F&B partners.

At the Yangon International Airport, Grab users can relax at the Mingalar Lounge and enjoy discounts at Bon Voyage Airport Bar as well as Café Corner Restaurant.

We launched this based on insights gained from six years of serving travellers in the region, and learning about what you’re like. What else did we learn? Read on:

When Myanmarese go travelling…
Of all the overseas rides taken by Myanmar users, 34% were booked in Thailand and 26% were booked in Singapore.

Similar to other travellers, the national airports across the countries remained the top pick-up point for Myanmar Grab users overseas. Shopping was also high on the list. In Thailand, Big C Supercenter Ratchadamri, a sprawling hypermart in Bangkok that attracts tourists for its souvenirs and local produce, was one of the top places that Myanmar travellers booked a ride from. In Singapore, Myanmar users could be found getting their shopping fix at Vivocity.

Where do Myanmar Grab users visit when they travel? Which are the top pick-up points for tourists in Myanmar? Explore these and more in our interactive map.

When travellers come to Myanmar
In 2017, Myanmar welcomed 3.4 million tourists. Of the Grab bookings made by travellers in the country, a third were made by Singapore users and another quarter by Thai users.

For visitors to the country, the main airport in Yangon was the top pick-up point for most of the countries. The two most popular shopping malls, based on Grab overseas bookings, were Junction City and Myanmar Plaza, both offering international shopping experiences.

Making it easy to travel in the region
Southeast Asia is really a melting pot of different cultures. It’s charming, colourful and diverse but it’s not exactly easy navigating the different languages, currencies and infrastructure. And it hits you most when you first arrive in a foreign land.

Here’s where Grab helps, according to Myanmar users such as travel blogger May Zune Win.

“All around Southeast Asia, from the airport, or going to clubs or the beach, Grab is there,” she said. “It’s easy and convenient for both long and short trips.”

The app localises automatically with the correct maps and rates in local currency, all in the local language. It even shows you what services are available in that city. For example, you can try GrabRemorque in Cambodia, GrabBike in Jakarta, Grab Roddaeng in Thailand or GrabThoneBane in Myanmar.

Grab is now available in 336 cities across Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Myanmar travellers also like using Grab overseas because it’s convenient and they can be confident of the quality.

“I use only Grab when I travel, whether it’s getting from the hotel to my office, going to the shopping malls or cinemas,” said Soe Thura Soe, a PR and citizenship manager. “I just have to key in the destination and the fare appears, there’s no need to communicate with the drivers on location or price at all. And I always get nice rides with Grab wherever I go.”

And sometimes, for returning citizens, Grab offers a way of appreciating the country again. Han Hwei, a grants and contracts assistant based in the United States, had been away from Myanmar for years. When she returned for a visit, her friends recommended her to use Grab.

“I’ve really enjoyed using Grab during my stay in the city,” she said. “There’s no need to bargain over fares, it’s convenient, and the rides are comfortable.