Roughly 5 million Thai citizens are making the most of the extended weekend, embarking on nationwide journeys that will infuse a whopping 16.6 billion baht into various vacation spots across the country. This heavy outpouring of recreational expenditure is all according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Due to a cabinet decision just last week, the common working weekend has been extended from Friday to Wednesday, spurring an impressive increase in tourism spending, adds the aforementioned authority.
The Tourism Authority anticipates close to 4.96 million local tourism trips, packing a punch of 16.6 billion baht in expenditure during the extended holiday period. The TAT governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, anticipates an average hotel occupancy rate of 63% throughout this window.
In the first couple of days of the elongated holiday, Supasorn observed that the tourists principally explored destinations within a 200-300 kilometre radius of their residences. “Despite the temptation to travel, inhibitors like the persistent inflation and high fuel costs remain, although there are signs of a slight decrease,” he noted. “These challenges present significant obstacles to Thai spending.”
On Monday, in a surprising move, the government announced a special holiday for today, aimed at pumping life into domestic tourism. Governor Supasorn reflected that if the extension of the holiday period would’ve been disclosed earlier, people might have seized the opportunity to plan trips overseas. The weaker yen makes Japan an especially attractive destination for such international excursions, according to the TAT governor.
Chiang Mai, a hub of landmark tourist attractions including the ever-popular Tha Pae area in downtown Muang district, attracted a buzzing crowd of Thai and international visitors. Paisal Sukcharoen, the president of the Thai Hotels Association’s Northern Chapter, noted that the hotel occupancy rate during this unusually long weekend reached 80%, with half of the guests hailing from abroad. Chiang Mai’s tourism revenue from Thai visitors is estimated at in the region of 120 million baht.
Paradisiacal Phuket, meanwhile, is predicted to rake in a whopping 2 billion baht in holiday tourism revenue, thanks largely to its influx of international visitors. The resort-rich island sees considerable tourism from countries such as Russia, Malaysia, Singapore, India, and Vietnam. According to Lertchai Wangtrakuldee, director of TAT’s Phuket office, the hotel occupancy rate in Phuket during the holiday has topped 65%. Over 234,000 visitors, both foreign and Thai, have secured accommodations on the island during this period, he added.