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12 Apr 2022

Econ Digest

Thai tourists pack their bags… 4.6 million domestic trips will be made during Songkran holiday


        KResearch views that the atmosphere for Thailand’s domestic tourism during the 2022 Songkran holiday will likely improve, since a majority of Thais have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine as well as booster shots, giving some people the confidence to travel domestically. Meanwhile, the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has relaxed some COVID-19 control measures on Songkran activities including parades, water fights and other recreational events under established conditions, and businesses in the tourism industry have reintroduced promotions to boost domestic tourism, as well as the support elements from the “We Travel Together” scheme. However, the daily number of new COVID-19 infections remains high, alongside hefty living costs stemming from rising prices of goods and energy. These factors are expected to affect the travel plans of some potential holidaymakers during this period. KResearch projects that approximately 4.6 million domestic trips will be made by Thai tourists during the nine-day Songkran festival from April 9 to April 17, 2022 – up by 2.2% YoY. Overall, domestic tourism will continue to see an uneven recovery, with Thais showing a preference for short-distance trips and major seaside destinations.

        The overall tourism spending during the 2022 Songkran festival will drop slightly to THB4,850 per person from THB4,900 per person in 2021, mainly due to business operators’ marketing and changes in consumer behavior, resulting in not much acceleration in accommodation and food expenditures despite rising food prices. In addition, travel expenditures will not increase much with the rise in oil prices, because tourists will focus more on short-distance trips and attractions near their accommodations; expenditures on goods/gifts/souvenirs and activities show signs of a slowdown in line with the reduction in recreational events to avoid congestion. KResearch assesses that tourism spending during the 2022 Songkran festival will amount to THB22.3 billion, or a growth of merely 1.2% YoY.

        Despite the positive factors from the relaxation of the COVID-19 test requirement for foreigners before entering Thailand, the outlook of the Thai tourism market during the remainder of 2022 remains highly uncertain. Therefore, business operators must regularly monitor and assess the situation, be flexible in their marketing activities and adapt their strategies to the travelers’ needs.

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