As we enter a long holiday weekend (the second long weekend in a row), the Tourism Authority of Thailand says 5.72 billion baht is expected to be generated by local tourists. The announcement comes after a TAT survey among domestic travellers about the upcoming weekend and their travel plans. Predictions from the TAT over the past 18 months have been wildly optimistic.
Local travellers will take about 1.84 million trips this weekend between today and Sunday, according to the survey responses, which officials estimate will pump nearly 6 billion baht into the Thai economy. Confidence has increased amongst Thai travellers in the safety of taking a holiday due to Covid-19 prevention programs for businesses as well as personal virus safety measures in the population. Chief among those personal measures is the vaccination rate which has finally passed 50% in Thailand.
But arrivals from international ports remain sluggish, accounting for around 130,000 arrivals in November, falling a long way short of the Government and TAT’s predictions. It’s also estimated that only around 50% of the international arrivals are actually tourists.
Meanwhile, another major factor in Thailand’s big holiday travel weekend is the government’s hotel subsidy program that co-pays for hotel rooms for domestic travellers to help spur tourism revenue. The We Travel Together program is now in its third phase and subsidises 40% of hotel expenses, with a maximum of up to 3,000 baht per room per night.
Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn says that the success of the program is clearly noticeable as out of 2 million hotel rooms available from hotels participating in the program, fewer than 90,000 are still vacant. That means 1.9 million rooms are already booked, a slightly higher figure than the total number of estimated travellers for the weekend.
Eastern and Northern Thailand are among the most popular regions to visit this weekend according to the survey. Extrapolating from responses, an estimated 362,000 travellers are predicted to head eastward, creating 1.4 billion baht of tourism revenue. For those looking to relax in some cooler weather, an estimated 272,500 travellers are expected to travel north, with an estimated revenue of 1.3 billion baht produced as a result.
SOURCE: The Phuket News
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