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Asia visitors opt for private apartments over cheap five-star hotel rooms: Agoda

Bangkok

MORE tourists to Asia are opting to stay in privately owned apartments even when five-star hotel rooms are available for as little as US$100 a night, according to online travel booking platform Agoda Services.

Agoda, part of Booking Holdings, is seeking more non-hotel accommodation choices for travellers as many want to live like locals during their trips, chief executive officer John Brown said in an interview in Bangkok.

"A place like Bangkok where five-star hotels here often cost US$100 to US$150 per night - even here, people say I want the experience of living in an apartment," he noted.

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Market voices on:

"Making sure we have a homes product or an apartment product is super important."

Customers looking for non-hotel accommodation are expanding 30 per cent to 40 per cent faster than people looking for hotels, according to Agoda.

Airbnb is credited with kicking off the recent trend of renting homes during holidays rather than staying in hotels.

Agoda was set up more than a decade ago and expanded in Asia before being acquired by Booking Holdings.

Greater China is one of the fastest-growing markets for Agoda, and the region continues to offer a sizable untapped market.

Only about 8.7 per cent of Chinese citizens hold passports, which is an indicator of the growth that is yet to come, Mr Brown said. BLOOMBERG