Domestic market peaks in Q3

At the Thai Tiew Thai 2022 fair held last week, people are looking for domestic travel deals. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

Domestic tourism is expected to record the highest travel sentiment since the pandemic in the third quarter, thanks to a shift towards an endemic approach and several long holidays, according to the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT).

Domestic tourism has kept up with positive signs as the number of domestic tourists planning their vacations is expected to peak in the past two years, said Chamnan Srisawat, president of the TCT.

Of 440 local respondents with monthly salaries over 10,000 baht, 63% have domestic travel plans in the third quarter, while 58% will spend an average of 4-5 nights during their trip.

About 54% are ready to start their trip in July, followed by 51% in August and 19% in September.

Mr Chamnan said local tourists are about 48% more wanting to leave their region or province compared to just 26-29% in the previous quarter.

Traveling by car was the most popular mode of transport among respondents (57%), despite higher fuel prices.

The council also surveyed the confidence index of 740 tourism businesses regarding the upcoming long third-quarter vacation, including Asanha Bucha Day and the start of Buddhist Lent from July 13-17, and found that the index was at 70 lay.

The confidence index for His Majesty the King’s Birthday July 28-31 and Mother’s Day August 12-14 was 69 and 66, respectively.

Operator confidence improved but was still below 100, indicating “stable” tourism confidence.

The overall economy should be lifted by the full reopening on July 1, which would lead to stronger confidence in tourism spending, said Chaiyapruk Thongkam, president of the Association of Domestic Travel.

Japan could start opening up to international tourists, but additional requirements in the first phase would hamper the flow of Thai travellers.

He said higher living costs could impact their overseas travel plans. People will avoid international trips and plan more domestic trips as the support of the stimulus package would allow them to travel more frequently, which would help ease the financial burden.

“Nature-based tourism such as blooming krachiao flowers in Chaiyaphum or camping, as well as cultural events such as the Candle Festival for Buddhist fast celebrations are expected to attract more locals,” said Mr. Chaiyapruk.

According to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, local tourists made 53.3 million trips from January to May, up 126.8% year-on-year.

During that period, domestic tourism revenue rose 108.1% to 248 billion baht.

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