Domestic travel has an important role towards generating cash flows within our economy, especially in tourist cities and nearby locales. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has reported that cash generated by domestic travel totaled some THB869 billion during 2016.
Domestic travel continues to exhibit a bright outlook for 2017, even if it remains unclear whether the government will continue with their domestic tourism stimuli or not, thanks to many other aids. These include marketing promotions that are expected to be launched by hotels and airlines, as well as by other travel-related businesses throughout the year. Moreover, public and private sector agencies will likely continue with campaigns via social media to promote tourist attractions. This would be consistent with KResearch's survey on the travel behavior of Thais that that private sector marketing campaigns and promotions have had the most impact on their travel decisions, followed by other factors, e.g., having seen such attractions online, as well as news on tourism festivals.
Moreover, new tourism product/activity development for niche markets to meet a broader range of Thai lifestyles has created new tourism opportunities, e.g., football competitions like the Thai Football League, marathon/cycling competition and local festivals, which have all helped support domestic tourism. In addition, the opening of new inter-provincial flights by many low-cost air carriers and the Pattaya-Hua Hin ferry service have made it more convenient for people to travel, thus helping disperse more tourists to other provinces.
Given those exciting new developments, plus favorable economic and political conditions here, we at KResearch are of the view that domestic travel spending may reach THB930-938 billion in 2017, increasing 7-8 percent YoY, versus the 8.3 percent YoY growth reported for 2016. We also expect that Thais will undertake perhaps 158.2-159.7 million domestic trips, rising 6.2-7.2 percent YoY, versus the 7.3 percent gain recorded in 2016.