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Long uphill path still ahead for Thailand's domestic tourism industry

13 Oct 2020

A government survey looking at domestic tourists' travel habits indicates an uphill battle for the recovery of the tourism industry. Pimchanok Vonkorpon, from the Commerce Ministry's Trade Policy and Strategy Office, says around a quarter of those surveyed traveled during weekends and holidays, but most spent less than 5,000 baht per trip. 

“The survey was conducted in 884 districts in every province among 8,124 respondents. Out of 27% who said they had traveled from July to September, 56% said the goal was sightseeing, while 44% traveled to visit their families. 

Of those surveyed, over 86 percent say they spent less than 5,000 baht on the trip, over 37 percent spent between 5,000 and 10,000 baht, while just under 14 percent spent over 10,000 baht. Those polled were also questioned whether they intended to fly this month, with approximately 48 percent stating they had no intentions to do so. More than 40% remain undecided, with less than 12% of respondents claiming they have made travel arrangements. 

Among those surveyed, Pimchanok says there are 3 primary concerns, the largest being a Covid-19 virus resurgence, which over 40 percent of respondents say they're worried about.

Over 17% expressed concern about the rising cost of consumer products, while over 14% said they were concerned about higher household debt. 

The responses will mean that there is a long uphill path ahead for Thailand's domestic tourism industry. Pimchanok calls on industry leaders to adjust to the new challenges faced by consumers. 

The findings of the survey indicate that domestic tourism may not rebound in the second half of the year, because citizens are still concerned about the pandemic and the economic slowdown. In the new normal age, entrepreneurs in the tourism industry need to change their approach to fit customer actions, concentrating on rising protection against Covid-19, as well as maintaining the price competitive and acceptable to the economic condition of the customer. 

The Ministry of Commerce says that prices are also monitored to ensure that there is no overcharging or hoarding of products, in addition to surveying consumers to gauge behaviour.