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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Thai Domestic Travel Intentions Plummet in Third Quarter

A recent survey has revealed a notable decline in domestic travel plans among Thai citizens, with only 57% intending to vacation within the country during the third quarter of this year. This is a significant drop from 64% in the previous quarter and a steep decline from 74% at the beginning of the year.

The survey, conducted by the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), included 450 Thai nationals earning over 10,000 baht per month. It highlighted a dramatic decrease in average spending per person on domestic trips to 2,683 baht in the second quarter, down from 6,856 baht in the first quarter.

Despite this reduction in spending, the average number of hotel nights per person increased to 4.79 nights in the second quarter, up from 3.38 nights in the first quarter. However, projections for the third quarter suggest a slight decrease to 4.55 nights.

In terms of international travel, the survey found that 16% of respondents plan to travel abroad in the third quarter, a figure unchanged from the previous quarter but significantly lower than the 23% reported in the first quarter. The primary reasons cited for this downturn in travel plans are the rising cost of living and increasing debt, with 80% of respondents indicating these as major factors. Additionally, 58% pointed to higher travel expenses compared to pre-pandemic times.

TCT President Chamnan Srisawat commented that these findings are reflected in the tourism business confidence index, which fell to 79 in the second quarter from 81 in the first quarter. Despite this decline, the index remains higher than the 72 recorded during the same period last year.

Several factors have contributed to this decline, including the off-peak travel season in the second quarter, despite the Songkran festival in April, and the limited impact of government economic stimulus measures.

Looking ahead, the TCT predicts the confidence index will further drop to 75 in the third quarter. Srisawat also noted that the Thai economy is facing challenges such as reduced purchasing power and unemployment due to factory closures. These issues could lead to increased household debts and non-performing loans, further affecting the domestic tourism sector.

In attendance at the survey presentation were various officials and industry stakeholders who expressed concern over the findings and discussed potential measures to mitigate the downturn in tourism.

Nora Zaarimi
Author: Nora Zaarimi

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