KASIKORN RESEARCH CENTER (KResearch) during November 1-20, 2007, conducted a qualitative survey entitled ;Bangkok Residents' Behavior for the New Year's Celebration of 2008” based on a sampling group of 555 persons aged 15 years or higher, living in Bangkok and its vicinity. They were broadly categorized by occupation and income bracket, which are regarded as key factors to their responses. The findings showed that most city dwellers were focusing on frugality and planning to cut their expenses on New Year celebrations. Around 46.3 percent of the respondents said that they would cut their budgets for the festive season, while 37.8 percent would try to control their spending to stay within last year's limits, whereas only 15.9 percent said that they would increase their New Year's celebration-related expenditures, most of which would be for travel expenses.
It is projected that Bangkok residents' behavior during their New Year's celebrations for 2008 between December 29-January 1, 2008, will generate around THB18 billion, falling 10.0 percent from last year. This is due to the projection that consumers will still be focusing on frugality and are still not confident about the economy next year, or about political stability. Despite the recent year-end elections, many parties have forecast that political conflicts will linger. The spending for New Year Celebrations among Bangkokians, classified by major spending would include partying, making merit and giving alms to monks, as well as spending for gifts. Other activities were calculated by dividing Bangkok city dwellers into two groups, being Bangkok residents who will be traveling outside of Bangkok — also divided into two sub-groups, i.e., those who will be traveling domestically and those traveling internationally. The other primary group is Bangkok residents who are opting to stay in Bangkok during the New Year, which has been divided into those who are choosing to stay home, and those that have outside activities in mind such as visiting the elderly, and other relatives and friends, or choosing to hang out in Bangkok, etc. Moreover, the money in circulation during the New Year was calculated as the additional spending of Bangkok residents during the long holiday period on the top of their regular daily expenses. On the part of commercial banks' cash reserves to support withdrawals and spending during the New Year, more than THB100 billion has been prepared to support both regular and holiday-specific transactions for the New Year handled by the financial system across the country.
An interesting point is that Bangkok residents in the sampling group still displayed popularity toward travel both domestically and internationally, where the anticipated spending on all travel has continued to grow over last year. Travel expenses for both domestic and international trips are rising. However, it is also notable that this increased expense will mostly go for motor fuel, while the average spending quoted for overseas trips per person was rather high, especially for shopping. Supportive factors include the stronger Baht and countries that are popular tour destinations for Thais are being promoted along with shopping campaigns there.
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