Due to concerns over the Omicron Covid-19 variant, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expects the New Year festival to generate just 8.04 billion baht in tourism revenue.
TAT Governor YuthasakSupasorn said the concerns over a possibility of a new outbreak with the Omicron variant have affected tourists’ plans for the New Year holidays. Only younger travelers seem to be confident with preventive measures and seem to be sticking with their travel plans.
According to the TAT, spending on tourism between December 31 and January 3 will show a weaker travel sentiment compared to other holidays in 2021. Local tourists’ trips are expected to generate around 8.04 billion baht in income.
The overall hotel occupancy rate is estimated at 48%, while Bangkok is at 18% and Phuket is at 16%, which is lower than Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, the more popular destinations for domestic tourists and the most visited destinations during winter.
The TAT is also organizing countdown events in Phuket, Chiang Mai, NakhonRatchasima, Ayutthaya, and Rayong, expecting to draw 545,000 domestic trips and generate 2.04 billion baht.
However, it is also possible that Thailand will face clusters and outbreaks, which will in turn force authorities to cancel New Year celebrations. Regardless of the severity of the outbreak, tourism and the overall economic situation will surely be impacted.(NNT)