The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) forecasts that Thailand’s circulating money during the Songkran holiday will decrease to only 1.1 billion baht, marking the lowest circulating money in nine years, not counting the near total Covid19 lockdown last year when the holiday was completely canceled.
This year, the holiday is allowed, but only with traditional activities like religious merit, showing respect to elders, cleaning ones home and similar activities. Parties, concerts, water fights, foam events, and other “fun celebrations” are banned due to Covid-19 concerns leading economic experts to say this will cause a significant hit to the economy.
Thanawat Phonwichai, director of the UTCC’s Center for Economic and Business Forecasting, revealed yesterday, April 1st, the results of people’s spending behavior during Songkran week in 2021 from 1,256 candidates, indicating that people are not very excited about Songkran this year.
According to the survey, the national circulating money is predicted to be about 1.13 billion baht and is expected to be the worst in nine years despite the fact that the number has increased to 63 percent when compared to last year. However, last year the holiday was effectively canceled, alcohol sales were banned, there was a curfew, domestic travel was basically shut off, and nearly all businesses were closed except essential ones.
The director stated that Thai people have limited their spending this year because they want to save money. However, they will continue to travel but rather in a short period of time, approximately from three to five days, as a result of the government stimulus campaign, such as “Thai Chana” and “We Travel Together”.
He said: “Songkran will not be very busy this year but there will be some tourism traffic under more careful consideration of individual’s money spending. The expenditure is expected to come from the government stimulus campaign, accounting for 5 percent of the spending.”
“The UTTC previously expected before the water fight ban that there will be 1.4 billion baht flowing during Songkran, but after the survey, the figure was expected to be only 1.1 billion baht due to the concerns about the Covid-19 coronavirus situation.”
Thanawat also advised the government to continue its campaign and support tourism by maintaining VAT at 7 percent for the next two years in order to help recover the country’s economic crisis during the spread of Covid-19.
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