Thai people cautious in spending during Songkran festival: survey

By VNA   April 7, 2024 | 06:20 pm PT
Thai people cautious in spending during Songkran festival: survey
A woman uses a water bottle to counter water pistols as people celebrate the Songkran holiday which marks the Thai New Year in Bangkok, Thailand, April 13, 2023. Photo by Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha
More people are expected to travel during the long Songkran holiday this year than last year but they will be more cautious in their spending due to the higher cost of living and indebtedness, a survey found.

The survey conducted by the Economic and Business Forecast Center of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce gauged the opinions of 1,280 people in various occupations from March 25 to 30.

Up to 66% of the respondents said they intend to celebrate the Songkran festival by merit making, 42% by paying respects to senior citizens or relatives, 41.6% by splashing water at one another and 39.2% at parties.

More than a half of the respondents said they will travel, but mostly within their respective provinces, 26% said they will stay home, 10.6% said they will travel to other provinces.

The most popular domestic tourist destinations are Chon Buri, Ayutthaya, Rayong, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Phuket, Krabi, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Bangkok. Average domestic travel spending per head is estimated at 6,425 baht (US$175), while average foreign travel spending is estimated at 40,129 baht per head.

Thanawat Pholvichai, advisor to the forecast center and rector of the university, said that spending by foreign tourists and locals during the festival period this month is estimated at between 140 billion and 200 billion THB.

Songkran this year is likely to be livelier and festive events are expected to generate increased spending, he said, adding that in April alone, about 3.2 million foreign tourists are expected to visit Thailand.

He estimated that the Songkran festival will stimulate economic growth by 2.01% to 2.50%.

The festival is to be held throughout the country over 21 days, but especially for five days from April 12-16, to mark it being recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

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