Thailand tourism council study reveals surprising spending trends

Photo courtesy of The Nation

In an investigation undertaken by the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), it has emerged that a significant portion of the Thai populace has adopted a more frugal approach to their expenditure in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The TCT’s exhaustive survey, spanning from last year up to now, canvassed the travel inclinations of 418 Thai individuals earning over 10,000 baht per month, shedding light on their spending habits and future travel plans.

Unveiling a stark reality, the study delineated a notable decline in expenditure, with respondents averaging approximately 4,293 baht per person per trip in the final quarter of 2023, a significant drop from the preceding year’s first-quarter expenditure averaging around 7,000 baht per person per trip.

Commenting on the findings, the TCT attributed this newfound thriftiness to a confluence of factors including inflationary pressures, escalating interest rates, and a sluggish economic pace. A staggering 73% of respondents acknowledged exercising heightened caution in their expenditure compared to the pandemic era, with 87% curtailing purchases of personal products and 79% trimming expenses on travel and entertainment.

Delving deeper, the study highlighted key determinants influencing travel decisions, with affordability topping the list at 28%, closely trailed by the allure of attractions (27%), promotional offers (18%), and accessibility (18%).

Moreover, respondents expressed a middling satisfaction rating of 3.39 out of 5 for the quality of road infrastructure leading to tourist hotspots, whereas rail travel garnered a modest rating of 2.85, reported The Nation.

In a surprising twist, second-tier provinces garnered favour among Thai tourists, who bestowed a commendable satisfaction score of 3.46. Citing reasons such as reduced crowding, competitive prices, and improved air quality, respondents lauded these destinations. Nonetheless, they highlighted challenges including limited transportation options, scant travel information, and inadequate accommodation and amenities.

In related news, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin revealed the government’s intent to extend visa-free travel to citizens of several additional countries. This development follows Thailand’s recent decision to waive visas for Chinese and Indian citizens, an attempt to stimulate the tourism sector, a vital component of Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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