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Unleashed! Thailand’s Historic Extended Holiday Expected to Ignite Record-Breaking Tourism. Is This Economic Miracle or Mere Mirage?

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The eminent Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is anticipating a significant surge of activity and expenditure on a national scale, from July 28 to August 2. Projections are currently suggesting possible influx of nearly five million journeys that could generate a staggering 16.6 billion baht across Thailand potentially. As stated by Yuttasak Supasorn, Governor of TAT, the anticipated boost in local manoeuvres during the remarkable prolonged holiday weekend might catapult hotel occupancy rates up to an anticipated 63%.

During the onset of this long holiday period, Supasorn noted a considerable amount of traffic directed towards locations proximal to the 200-300 kilometre range, as reported by the Bangkok Post. Yuttasak, the chief of TAT, opined the figures could have been even more encouraging if not for the persistent inflation and the steep rise in fuel prices acting as stiflers for domestic expenditure by Thai nationals. In Yuttasak’s words, “Inflation and high fuel prices continue to be negative elements, even though there’s a downward trend.”

With a goal to catalyse a significant bump in domestic tourism, the government in a somewhat unexpected move, announced a unique public holiday on Monday, July 31, albeit with the typical last-minute planning that one might associate with Thailand. Yuttasak implied that if this extended pause could have been earmarked and promoted well beforehand, individuals might have been motivated to pencil in foreign travels. Given the current unimposing stature of the yen, Japan seems especially tempting for brief sojourns now.

A week back, the government declared a special holiday on July 31, with an objective to elongate the overlapping holidays into a comprehensive six-day hiatus, stretching from July 28 to August 2. A couple of days back, TAT calculated that this elongated public holiday period, backed by the Thai Cabinet to boost tourism within Thailand, could inject an impressive 16.6 billion baht to the Thai economy. The extended public holidays envelop the King’s Birthday on July 28, Asalha Puja (Dharma Day to commemorate the Buddha’s premier sermon) on August 1 and Buddhist Lent Day on August 2.

Based on predictions, the Eastern part of Thailand will have the highest average occupancy rate, peaking at approximately 68%. However, as remarked by Yuthasak, majority of the tourist traffic is directed towards the central and northeast regions, whereas the southern reaches experience a lean period due to monsoons, making sea activities less feasible and hence attracting fewer tourists.

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