Thais have been found to begin taking more domestic trips after the government relaxed lockdown restrictions, lifted a ban on inter-provincial travel, bolstered the vaccination rate, and introduced measures, aimed at stimulating domestic travel. A survey on domestic travel demand shows that more than 73.7 percent of the respondents in Bangkok intend to take domestic trips the most. Therefore, if the government can ensure that there is no severe resurgence of COVID-19, this will be a boon for domestic travel during the upcoming high season.
However, the recovery in domestic travel will likely be gradual and remain within negative territory because of the high COVID-19 risk in several tourist destinations. Thais wanting to travel to many provinces and some tourist attractions where there are stringent COVID-19 containment measures are required to receive vaccines in accordance with the set conditions or undergo the ATK test if they are not fully vaccinated.
KResearch is of the view that Thais may take 29.1 million domestic trips, a contraction of 14.2 percent YoY, during the final two months or high season of 2021, which would be higher than the 3.8 million domestic trips per month reported for January – October 2021. As a result, the total number of domestic trips made by Thais during 2021 may reach roughly 66.71 million trips, a contraction of 26.3 percent YoY, representing a shrinkage for the second consecutive year. Their spending on domestic trips may reach approximately THB296,895 million, a contraction of 38.2 percent YoY, during 2021.
Looking into 2022, if there is no serious reemergence of COVID-19 that prompts the government to impose stringent containment measures as those seen in 2021, it is expected that domestic travel will report steady growth. Preliminarily, KResearch projects that Thais will make around 109-155 million domestic trips.