Thailand’s Valentine’s Day spending is expected to jump for the first time in five years this year, according to a survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC). Spending is expected to hit over 2.4 billion baht this year, the survey said.
The survey shows a 57.1% increase in spending compared to last year, with the majority of the money being spent on gifts, dining out, flowers, and movies. UTCC President Thanavath Phonvichai stated that this year’s spending is predicted to be active despite a relatively high cost of living and recent holiday spending.
The study, based on a survey of 1,225 people nationwide, showed that spending is expected to average 1,848 baht per person, compared to 1,176 baht last year, Bangkok Post reported. Thanavath attributes the increase in spending to the recovering economy, which is reflected in the 5.02% year-on-year headline inflation seen in January. The UTCC also forecasts economic growth of 3.5-4% this year, driven by a surge in foreign tourist arrivals, particularly from China, and the general election scheduled for the second quarter.
The election is expected to generate 40-50 billion baht in spending and raise economic growth by 0.3 percentage points. Additionally, the UTCC estimates that five million Chinese tourists will arrive in the second quarter, bringing the total number of foreign arrivals to 26-27 million this year.
Wattanasak Sur-iam, Director-General of the Internal Trade Department, called for cooperation from producers to maintain product prices to ease the financial burden on consumers during the recovery of the domestic economy. Although some beverage producers requested price increases due to rising production costs, the department held discussions and reached an agreement to maintain prices. Wattanasak stated that the recovering tourism industry and higher consumption are easing pressure on producers.
Overall, the UTCC survey suggests that spending on Valentine’s Day is expected to increase significantly this year, reflecting a recovering economy and growing consumer confidence.
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