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Grab Reveals 5 Travel Insights into Foreign Tourists


Grab Thailand unveils insights into foreign tourists based on their travel behaviors and usage of the Grab’s mobility service in 2023. As the No. 1 ride-hailing app among foreign tourists, Grab witnessed a 139% growth in the number of rides of its on-demand transportation service among foreigners in 2023 compared to the previous year. The insights highlight the growing popularity of tourism in second-tier cities’, especially in the 10 cities promoted by the government, as reflected in the double growth rate of rides among international travelers. The ‘Soft Powerpush also proves its strong appeal, with food and Muay Thai attracting tourists.

Worachat Luxkanalode, Country Head of Grab Thailand, says, “Tourism promotion is one of the top priorities for Grab Thailand, aimed at stimulating the country’s economy and generating income for local communities. This is also in line with government’s direction in boosting Thai economy through tourism. In 2023, Thailand attracted more than 27 million international visitors1. The Grab app has maintained its popularity as the No.1 choice for ride-hailing services among them, driven by three key factors: convenience, safety standards, and price transparency. This resulted in a 139% increase in the number of rides in 2023 compared to the previous year. The top 5 foreign users include Singaporeans, Malaysians, Vietnamese, Indonesians, and Chinese. Notably, Chinese tourists experienced the highest growth rate2, with an increase of over 171%”.

“Based on the behaviors of foreign tourists using the Grab app for travel in the past year3, we have identified  five interesting trends that are likely to continue in 2024. This includes the growing popularity of tourism in secondary cities, especially in the 10 provinces that the government aims to upgrade to first-tier tourist destinations namely Phrae, Lampang, Nakhon Sawan, Nakhon Phanom, Si Sa Ket, Chanthaburi, Ratchaburi, Kanchanaburi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, and Trang. In addition, the ‘5F soft power’ actively promoted by the government has influenced international tourists’ interests, especially in Food and Fighting (or Thai martial arts). These have been reflected in the significant growth rate of rides commuting to and from famous restaurants and Thai boxing stadiums”

The five travel trends derived from foreign tourists’ usage of Grab’s mobility service in 2023 are as follows:

  • Secondary Cities Grow Popular, with ‘Kanchanaburi’ Shines as Foreigners’ New Destination: With the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s campaigns to promote tourism in the  secondary provinces, there has been a significant increase in the number of foreign tourists visiting these provinces. . Last year, the usage of Grab’s ride-hailing service in the 10 secondary provinces doubled compared to the previous year. Kanchanaburi witnessed the highest growth rate, followed by Lampang and Trang, respectively.
  • Thailand is Shopping Paradise with ‘Shopping Malls and Markets’ as Star Attractions: The data shows the top five destinations that foreign tourists frequented the most are shopping malls as well as night or weekend markets. The top 5 destinations include Central World, ICONSIAM-Siam Paragon, Khaosan Road, Chatuchak Market, and JODD Fairs (Rama9).
  • ‘Soft Power’ Influences International Tourists, especially through Thai Food and Muay Thai: Thai food always stands out as one of the main factors attracting tourists from all over the world to Thailand. The top three most visited restaurants by Grab foreign users — Jeh O, HereHai and JAY-FAI — are renowned for their street food offerings. Meanwhile ‘Muay Thai’ or Thai kickboxing has  gained popularity among international visitors, especially those from the United States, France, and England. In 2023, the number of  rides to and from the Rajadamnern Stadium by Grab’s foreign users nearly quadrupled, reflecting the power of cultural heritage in the tourism industry.
  • Ride-hailing Apps Bring Tourists Peace of Mind, with Nearly Double the Usage at Airports: Ride-hailing apps at airports have emerged as alternative and preferred choices for travelers, providing them with convenience and  peace of mind. Last year, the usage of ride-hailing services among travelers at airports doubled.
  • Premium Service is Favored by Tourists: The popularity of GrabCar Premium service increased in 2023, particularly among international tourists, with the  number of rides doubling. This was led by the successful service’s revamp through the concept of “The Ultimate 5 Sense Experience”, aiming to enhance the travel experience through all five senses.


1 Source: The Ministry of Tourism and Sports 

2Source: Inside Grab


3Grab internal data

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