Spending Could Hit 5-Year High During Loy Krathong Festival

A survey has shown that consumer spending during the Loy Krathong festival is expected to be the highest in five years now that Thailand has reopened to foreign visitors and the government has introduced stimulus measures to boost tourism.

The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) recently conducted a survey, finding that spending could increase during the annual full moon celebration on November 8 by 5.9%, which accounts for up to 9.68 billion baht.

According to UTCC President Thanavath Phonvichai, Thai people feel happier during the Loy Krathong festival this year.

Therefore, “it should be more cheerful than last year’s event thanks to the country’s reopening and the anticipated extension of the government stimuli measures,” he added.

In addition, the government revealed that it plans to implement other measures and “New Year’s gifts” in the coming months, including an extension of the “Khon La Khrueng” co-payment scheme and the “Shop Dee Mee Khuen” tax rebate.

Recently, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha called on all ministries to come together and propose new measures to encourage consumer spending. Later, Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow said such measures could include the “We Travel Together” tourism stimulus campaign.

Mr. Thanavath said the average spending per person was estimated at 1,920 baht during the festival, an increase of more than 600 baht compared to last year’s figures.

The survey results also showed that most people expect the economy to start a strong recovery in mid-2023.

“Most people surveyed believe the Thai economy has already recovered, as their key concern was Covid-19 infections, which have dwindled. Many Thais returned to working, normal shopping behavior and traveling upcountry,” Mr. Thanavath stated.

In addition, oil prices have remained between US$90-100, which is no longer considered a serious risk factor, gasoline prices have decreased, and the cost of domestic diesel remains limited to 35 baht per liter.

According to Mr. Thanavath, the baht’s slump has not affected the economy but has benefited the export sector, as this year’s shipments have increased by 7-8%.

Meanwhile, the weak baht is expected to draw more foreign tourists to the country this year, with numbers potentially exceeding 10 million, he added.

The UTCC expects the economy to grow 3-3.5% this year and 2.5-4.0% next year, the survey also showed.