The looming Loy Krathong day this Friday has received the go-ahead from the government for celebratory events to be held this year. The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce is now expecting a 9.15 billion baht cash flow from this year’s festival, a spike of economic activities but still the lowest in 10 years.
A survey of 1,240 samples by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Economic and Business Forecasting (UTCC-CEBF) shows that more Thai people are expected to participate in this year’s Loy Krathong Festival on Friday night (Nov 19).
According to the survey, 51.6% of the subjects say they intend to participate in this traditional festival as a way to relieve their stress, while 31.1% of the subjects say they will not be participating.
People who don’t intend to participate say it is due to their work, fear of COVID-19, or the lack of income. Some subjects say they will be participating in online events instead out of environmental awareness, and poor economy.
The average per-person festival-related spending this year, including transportation, dining, recreational events, religious events, and Krathong purchase, is expected to be at 1,280 baht, lower than the previous year’s figure at 1,348 baht per person, as people become more cautious about spending.
Overall, the UTCC-CEBF is expecting a 9.147 billion baht cash flow from this year’s festival, the lowest figure in 10 years since the 2011 flooding.
UTCC President Thanawat Polvichai said more people are expected to participate in this year’s Loy Krathong festival than the last, thanks to the relaxation of disease control measures, country reopening, and higher vaccination uptake.
Despite higher turnouts, the lower spending projected is a reflection of the economy that has yet to fully recover.
The UTCC President said the actual performance of the Thai economy will depend on the vaccination coverage, additional economic measures from the government, the diesel price cap, and the number of international tourists.
If all goes well, Mr. Thanawat said these factors will help drive the growth of Thailand’s economy in 2022 to 4-5%. (NNT)