A survey carried out by the Tourism Authority of Thailand shows that for the most part, people are not letting the Omicron variant affect their travel plans. The poll’s findings show that domestic tourism is set to generate 5.72 billion baht during the upcoming long weekend, with over 1.8 million trips planned. The Bangkok Post reports that, while Omicron has caused some anxiety in people with children or elderly relatives, on the whole, travel sentiment remains strong.
TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn credits the government’s hotel subsidy scheme as playing a significant part in the increase in domestic bookings. He says that as there are only 90,000 rooms in the scheme, officials will hold talks with the private sector with a view to increasing the room quota and extending the travel period to the end of January.
Survey respondents have indicated that they feel confident travelling domestically given the Covid-19 vaccination rate is now over 50%. The survey’s findings also show that average hotel occupancy around the country is expected to reach 40% this weekend.
In terms of where they’re going, the survey shows that eastern provinces can expect to welcome over 360,000 visitors this weekend, generating revenue of around 1.4 billion baht. Northern Thailand is expected to get 1.3 billion baht in tourism revenue from over 270,000 domestic travellers. According to the Bangkok Post report, the survey shows that provinces most popular with Thais include Chon Buri, Kanchanaburi, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Khon Kaen, Ayutthaya, Rayong, and Prachuap Khiri Khan.
In related news, Thai VietJet says its average load factor for the high season is over 80%, which has exceeded the carrier’s expectations. The airline says a lot of this may be due to local travellers opting to take domestic trips instead of heading overseas.
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SOURCE: Bangkok Post