On August 20, 2019, aside from the extension of visa-on-arrival fee waiver for Chinese and Indian citizens, which is scheduled to expire at the end of October 2019, to the end of April 2020, the Cabinet also approved a number of measures, aimed at stimulating domestic tourism. These include: 1) A 1,000-Baht cash handout to be allocated to the first 10 million people, who register via an application developed by the Ministry of Finance. Qualified recipients must be at least 18 years old and they are required to visit destinations outside their home provinces. The measure requires a budget of THB10 billion; 2) A 15 percent cash rebate of up to THB30,000 on their tourism spending. The registration is open from September 23 to November 15, 2019. The recipients must use those rights from September 27 to November 30, 2019. These measures are part of the second round of tourism stimuli after tax measures, which expired on June 30, 2019.
We at KResearch view that such tourism stimuli may help invigorate domestic travel during 2H19 compared to that seen at the beginning of the year. This is because many Thais will likely travel upcountry during the remainder of 2019, given the school and public holidays. Tourism stimuli will not only benefit those intending to travel during that period, but also induce others, who do not have any travel plans to follow suit, in particular those wishing to make a one-day trip to nearby destinations. However, domestic travel may experience a number of risks during the remainder of 2019, including the slowing Thai economy, sluggish purchasing power and weather-related problems at the end of 2019, namely dust pollution.
KResearch have assessed that Thais may make approximately 171.6 million domestic trips (one-day and overnight trips) in 2019, up 2.8 percent YoY, helping generate some THB1.12 trillion, up 4.7 percent YoY in tourism income (an average monthly spending by Thai tourists during the final five months of 2019 is projected to increase over the first seven months). The amount of domestic tourism income takes into account a 0.1 percent increase in domestic tourism income as a result of tourism stimuli against the case where there are no tourism stimuli.