Tourism activities in the last five days of 2018 or between December 28, 2018 and January 1, 2019 are expected to generate THB47.43 billion of tourism revenue, up by 9.3 percent over-year, according to an estimate by KResearch. The buoyant sentiment from both local and international holidaymakers is attributed to the government's supportive measures together with marketing promotions by hospitality companies.
International arrival sentiment in December 2018 has picked up for two months in a row after a drop for the first time in 17 months in October 2018, partly because the last two months of the year are the regular high season for international tourists. Moreover, Thailand will be hosting international events during this period. Additionally, the Thai government's decision to waive the visa-on-arrival (VOA) fee for 21 countries will boost arrivals especially from nearby countries such as China and India. Due to the aforesaid factors, the international traveler sentiment over the New Year holiday should be positive. KResearch estimates that inbound travelers (including those who have arrived in Thailand earlier for the New Year celebration) during the New Year holiday should contribute around THB32.21 billion in tourism revenue, up 6.0 percent over-year.
Meanwhile, the sentiment of domestic tourism is also positive as Thais are set to travel in the country during the New Year for both their hometown visit and leisure trips, covering overnight stay and one-day trips. KResearch estimates that travel activities of Thais during the five-day New Year holiday should generate approximately THB15.22 billion, up 4.9 percent over-year.
Since holidaymakers will be massing in several tourist destinations during the final week of the year, this will present an opportunity for hospitality business operators to increase their revenue. Nonetheless, as new holiday hotspots are sprouting up all over and tourists are also expected to spread out to celebrate the countdowns at new destinations as well, tourism operators at the traditional holiday destinations should also rethink their business planning to get ready for the changing competitive landscape due to new tourism attractions.