The Chinese New Year is a lucrative time for business operators, thanks to lavish spending by Thai-Chinese celebrants and employees of Thai-Chinese owned businesses. KASIKORN RESEARCH CENTER (KResearch) conducted a qualitative survey on the “Spending Behavior of Bangkok Residents during Chinese New Year 2010”, January 18-31, 2010, using a sampling group of 455 respondents, representing families observing this annual ritual. It is expected that the activities of Chinese New Year celebrants will generate THB19.6 billion in cash flows, increasing 3.2 percent YoY.
KResearch expects that overall spending during this celebration will increase because of the recovering economy. In addition, Thai-Chinese celebrants believe that these family-oriented rituals paying homage to ancestors as well as deities during the New Year will bring about prosperous trade and good luck. As a result, Thai-Chinese still adhere to the ceremonies, though offerings bought for the rituals have gotten more expensive. Thus, spending on offerings will likely increase this year.
However, Bangkok residents' giving of ‘Ang Pao' gift money will be close to what has seen last year. Due to the fact that current gold ornament prices have surged higher than 2009 Chinese New Year,the majority of celebrants will likely shift to give cash instead of gold ornament. Moreover, people will spend the Ang Pao they receive on activities outside their homes, such as on day-trips and overnight journeys. Meanwhile, overseas trips during the festival period should improve over 2009 when at that time it was just after protests at our major airports.
Nevertheless, further political turmoil may erupt in the future, which is a matter of some concern that could cause changes in the sampling group's travel plans or holiday behavior. That is to say, this factor could reduce the holiday cash flow circulating during this festival to a level significantly lower than our forecast.