KResearch expects domestic travel in Thailand in the first half of 2018 to continue its boom, driven by various factors including “Go Local" campaign and the long holiday during Songkran festival. Thais are going back to their hometowns to reunite with their families and celebrate Thai New Year, while taking leisure trips during their homecomings as well.
During Songkran festival this year, joyous activities have returned to several tourist destinations. Many showcase the theme of Thai culture in line with heritage tourism trend which is now hugely popular among Thai holidaymakers. KResearch estimates that during the seven-day Songkran Festival from April 11-17, 2018, tourism receipts are set to reach THB15,585.20 million, up 15.8 percent from the same period last year.
Another factor bolstering “Go Local" tourism in the first half of this year is an emerging interest in Thai culture and history, reflected in an increasing number of Thai tourist arrivals at historical sites in Bangkok and Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya. Due to above factors, KResearch projects that in the first half of 2018, “Go Local" tourism should generate THB515 billion in tourism receipts, rising 8.5 percent YoY. Domestic travelers total approximately 74.8 million per trip, up 5.4 percent over-year.
In the second half of 2018, KResearch views that domestic tourism will continue to expand, thanks to the conducive domestic environment and the government's project to promote the kingdom's secondary destinations in 55 cities. In addition, hospitality operators including those engaging in hotel, lodging and airline businesses have organized a string of marketing campaigns to promote domestic travel, boosting the momentum of “Go Local" tourism.
At any rate, the government's campaign to promote tourism in 55 secondary provinces will end in December 31. 2018. Hotel and lodging operators including homestay operators and tour guide companies who currently benefit from this campaign should seize this opportunity to beef up their marketing strategy to make their hidden gems widely known among travelers. Unlike other popular hotspots in major tourism provinces, some local attractions in secondary provinces are still the best-kept secret destinations. The marketing campaign can be done through social media marketing via online platforms to create awareness and offer new options for holidaymakers during the remaining of this year.