Chiang Mai, Phuket, Chonburi top venues for New Year celebration

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BANGKOK, Dec 27 – Thailand’s economic woes have apparently played havoc with the country’s New Year celebrants as half of the Thai people are now holding back from buying gifts for others and almost 70 per cent of Thais have decided not to travel upcountry during the New Year holidays.

A survey by the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) conducted Monday and Tuesday this week found that half — 49.6 per cent — of the total 1,247 respondents would buy gifts for others during this traditionally gift-giving season while 44.99 per cent would not.

The poll result represents a decrease from last year’s poll when 60.26 per cent of respondents said they would buy gifts.

Regarding upcountry trips to celebrate New Year, more than two-thirds decided to stay home. Almost 70 per cent (68.89 per cent) said they would not travel, 56 per cent said they will celebrate in other provinces and about one-third — 34.43 per cent — said they would return home.

The three most popular destinations for the New Year’s celebrations are Chiang Mai, Phuket and Chonburi.

Half of the respondents said they would spend an average Bt6,000 for their holiday travels.