The rebounding economy, further stimulated by the holiday season, is now facing a major threat amid the rapidly spreading Omicron coronavirus variant. The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) said holiday spending this year is now projected to drop to a 12-year low as fears grow over the new strain.
The UTCC’s Center for Economic and Business Forecasting (UTCC-CEBF) released its economic projections for the 2022 New Year holiday season, anticipating spending to be the lowest in 12 years. From a survey of 1,244 people, the center estimates overall cash flow to be around 85.8 billion baht. Average per-person spending is expected to be 3,300 baht, which is lower than last year’s figure at 5,900 baht.
The center also projects lower religious spending, while the tourism sector is likely to take another hit from mass cancellations, with average per-person tourism spending at the all-time low of 5,440 baht.
UTCC President Thanawat Polvichai said fears over the Omicron variant are expected to wipe 30-50 billion baht from the holiday season spending. Additionally, this figure could slide by 5-10 billion baht due to possible nationwide cancellations of New Year events. (NNT)