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29 Dec 2020

Econ Digest

New Year holidays 2021: Bangkok residents adjust travel plans


          The new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a blow to Thai tourism, which had just begun to bounce back. Although the government has issued measures to control the COVID-19 outbreak, it has yet to restrict cross-provincial travel. A KResearch survey shows that more than 54.8% of Bangkok residents have no plans to travel to other provinces during the upcoming New Year holidays, while about 30.9% of the respondents still have plans to travel to other provinces, including overnight and one-day round trips. Nevertheless, their travel plans will depend on the development of COVID-19 pandemic, which may affect respondents’ actual travel decisions because the number of new infections continues to increase.

            KResearch expects that the new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to a loss of income opportunities, and the loss of income generated by tourism for the Thai people during the four-day New Year holidays (December 31, 2020-January 3, 2021) will be approximately THB5.85 billion, or equivalent to 58.4% of the normal tourism income of the Thai people during such 4-day period without the new wave of COVID-19 pandemic. The tourism sector will inevitably be affected, especially in areas where large number of infections are reported, but also in areas where no cases or low numbers of infection have been detected.

            It is therefore important during this period that operators correctly and consistently publicize the COVID-19 pandemic situation in their areas through the operator’s various channels such as websites or social networks, to serve as information for customer decisions and to prevent rumors that will affect businesses. In addition, operators must maintain safety standards and build tourists' confidence, and prepare plans to accommodate customers’ changing travel plans, including possible government adjustment to measures.

            KResearch believes that if the pandemic situation can be controlled within one month from now, the overall tourism market in Thailand should gradually recover by the end of 1Q21.

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