Bt50 billion expected to circulate during Vegetarian Festival

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BANGKOK, Sept 18 — More than Bt51 billion is expected to change hands during Thailand’s upcoming annual Vegetarian Festival, said Thanavath Phonvichai, director of the Thai Chamber of Commerce University’s Economic and Business Forecasting Center.

The festival will be celebrated twice this year, marking the first time in 182 years that people will observe it, Mr Thanavath said.

The first round of the festival starts from September 24 to October 2 and the second round from October 24 to November 1.

According to Dr Thanavath, more people have switched to consuming vegetables.

However, they prefer to cook themselves because food prices at restaurants have increased sharply and they have to be cautious in spending money.

Compared to last year’s vegetarian festival in which people celebrated the festival only once and the money spent was over Bt40 billion, the money expected to circulate during the upcoming festival would be considered the lowest in seven years due to food prices which have become risen sharply.

The UTPP survey also showed that most people wanted the government to help control food prices, ban the sale of alcohol and provide sufficient security for foreign tourists during  the Vegetarian Festival.