A recent survey conducted by KResearch shows that a majority of the respondents or 66 percent of them were worried about the novel coronavirus outbreak with the epicentre in China, which has spread to other countries, including Thailand. Thais have hence paid more attention to preventive measures and adjusted some aspects of their lifestyle while it remains uncertain when the deadly disease will be contained.
Within the period of 1-3 months, KResearch estimates that Thais will bear approximately 2.2-2.5 billion Baht in expenses to prevent contracting the virus and taking care of their health by buying surgical masks and alcohol gel. Meanwhile, the changing behavior of Thai consumers may have a negative impact on various business sectors. For example, it will deal a serious blow to the domestic travel-related businesses because Thais are expected to delay/postpone their travel plans, affecting business activities worth 13-17.5 billion Baht. As for the impact on retail and restaurant businesses, the effect on overall spending of Thais in these two segments is likely to be limited. Some operators may see an increase in their revenue while others may see a drop in their revenue due to consumers' behavioral change. Additionally, the news reports about the coronavirus outbreak also affect consumers' decision to go shopping and dine out. It is expected that in the next 1-3 months, the retail and restaurant businesses may register a net revenue loss to the tune of 900 million-1.5 billion Baht.
The survey findings show that people have changed some aspects of their daily routine during this period while their concerns over the coronavirus remain. However, they will not resume their normal lifestyle until there is a medical treatment/vaccination to prevent the disease as well as credible measures for prevention launched by the government, and new infected patients are no longer found in Thailand. The respondents said they have weighed in these three factors more than others.