Thailand's severest flooding in half a century, which began in late July and has worsened since August,inundating much of the northern, northeastern and central regions as well as Bangkok, is dealing a huge blow to tourism. Domestic tourism has been the hardest hit because this market is largely supported by high-spending Bangkok residents.
In addition, the flooding has forced many tourist attractions to close and disrupted use of major roads and railways, making travel difficult. However, flood-free attractions in the eastern, western and southern regions have received a windfall from flood victims who have been evacuated from elsewhere.
KResearch expects that the flooding has caused domestic travel to drop substantially in 2H11. As a result, domestic travel and tourism during 2011 may decline by some 8.7 million excursions down to 96.3 million (from the 105 million excursions projected earlier). Revenues generated by domestic tourists should drop by perhaps THB35 billion to THB380 billion (from THB415 billion forecast before).
As for 2012, it is expected that domestic tourism may recover during 2Q12 (academic summer vacations plus the long Songkran holiday), but this will depend on the pace of renovations and repairs at flood-hit tourist attractions that will need to be undertaken in tandem with public relations to reassure travelers about the tourism situation, post-crisis.