Under normal circumstances, Thailand receives many foreign tourists during our Songkran Festival – the Thai traditional New Year – which is usually quite active since both public and private sectors use this opportunity to organize activities at various locales, especially at major tourism destinations nationwide. This brings in around THB20-30 billion to the tourism industry and related businesses each year.
However, lingering political instability has affected tourists' decisions to visit Thailand, deteriorating the usual lively mood of the festival. After the lifting of the emergency decree, state agencies and tourism businesses have devised measures to bolster sales in overseas markets. There have been roadshows to some countries and ;familiarization trips” for foreign media and travel agencies to gain hands-on experience toward travel to and in Thailand. Meanwhile, some businesses are offering attractive promotional campaigns, either independently, or joining hands with partners, e.g., hotel room discounts at well-known destinations during the Songkran Festival.
Foreign tourists visiting Thailand during this Thai traditional New Year will have a tendency to steer clear of Bangkok, which is considered unsafe due to ongoing political demonstrations. Top-picked destinations include beach towns along the Andaman Sea (e.g., Phuket, Krabi and Phangnga), plus Samui Island and Pattaya, as well as Hat Yai and Chiang Mai.
Amid the above scenario, KResearch forecasts that foreign tourist arrivals will shrink over-year, with about 600,000 arrivals projected, taking a tumble of (-)10.6 percent YoY. They are expected to spend THB26.5 billion with tourism-related businesses, thus dropping about (-)9.6 percent YoY.