After significant events throughout the year comes the New Year celebrations which have been actively held by both the public and private sectors. This is particularly true for the festivities in Bangkok where the New Year's countdowns will be organized by Tourism Authority of Thailand in cooperation with Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and private agencies including various department stores and their business partners. Against this backdrop, the final week of December 2006 has seen active atmosphere with a festive mood all around.
As Bangkok is a large market with high purchasing power, KASIKORN RESEARCH CENTER (KResearch) conducted a qualitative survey on ;Bangkok Residents' Behavior in Celebrating the New Year 2007” between December 1-12, 2006 from a sampling group of 765 persons, aged 15 years old and higher, having domiciles in the city or in the provinces, covering all occupations and income levels. The findings show that Bangkok residents are likely to spend some THB20 billion during the New Year festival on the following activities:
- Parties, merit-making and wishing the elderly happiness: THB9.5 billion
Based on the poll, the activities mostly cited by respondents are joining New Year parties, followed by merit-making and offering gifts to elderly relatives. Spending on these activities will total around THB9.5 billion.
- City dwellers who do not go upcountry will spend THB2.5 billion on leisure activities
The survey also revealed that 58.3 percent of those polled would stay in Bangkok during the New Year, which was slightly down from the previous year. Of this, nearly 40 percent opted to stay home while the rest planned to enjoy leisure activities, i.e., shopping at department stores, dining out, going to cinemas, visiting outdoor amusement parks and other tourist spots in Bangkok. These activities may incur some THB2.5 billion in spending.
- Bangkok residents returning home and paying a visit to their relatives upcountry will spend around THB2 billion
Around 27.4 percent of those surveyed planned to return home or pay a visit to their relatives in the provinces, down 10 percent from the year before, due to the unfavorable economic climate. This group of respondents is expected to spend some THB2 billion, mostly on gifts for their relatives and for travel expenses.
- Those making trips upcountry will spend around THB4 billion
Some 9.8 percent of respondents said that they would make leisure trips to other provinces. The figure almost doubled from what was recorded last year. Among the most favored tourist destinations are those in the North including Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son, followed by those along the Eastern Coast and the Gulf of Thailand, i.e., Pattaya, Cha-am and Hua Hin as well as some Northeastern provinces including Loei, Ubon Ratchathani and Mukdahan.
Meanwhile, 3.8 percent of those polled are planning to go on an excursion upcountry, down from the year before. Tourist venues along the Eastern Coast, i.e., Pattaya and Bang Saen and some provinces in the central region like Ayutthaya, Lop Buri, Saraburi, Nakhon Pathom and Suphanburi are among the most favored destinations for them.
Bangkok residents making upcountry trips are expected to spend THB4 billion.
- Those going abroad, generating outflows of THB2 billion
According to the poll, 0.7 percent of respondents would make overseas trips during the New Year, down by 15 percent from the previous year. China, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore are the most popular destinations. Travel-related expenses are expected to total some THB2 billion.