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Thais looking forward to travelling again, survey says

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As Thailand slowly rises from the ashes of the Covid-19 pandemic, a survey has found that over half of Thai respondents plan to travel outside the country this year. The “2022 Holiday Barometer” conducted by Europ Assistance between April 26-May 16 found that about 56% of 1,000 Thai respondents planned to take outbound trips this summer. This is 7 percentage points up from 2021. These respondents particularly plan trips to Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan, and South Korea.

Whilst a lot of discussion has been about foreigners travelling back to Thailand since the Thailand Pass was introduced on November 1 last year, there is now a pent u demand for Thai outbound travel, but mostly regional, short-haul, trips.

More Thais are planning domestic trips too, with 18% of Thai respondents looking forward to domestic trips. This is 5 percentage points up from 2021. Altogether, 69% of Thai holidaymakers were planning summer trips, up 25% from 2021. The survey also revealed that ‘workations’ are becoming popular for Thais. Of all Thai respondents planning trips, 70% plan to work while travelling this summer.

Even though economic conditions are the most important concern for travellers, 66% of of Thai respondents said they would keep their travel budgets, or only cut them slightly. The average Thai tourist’s summer travel budget is 62,800 baht, up 18% from 2021.

Europ Assistance’s head of products and marketing, Marie Duchesne-Ferchal, said Thais are itching to break free after being cooped up for 2 years.

“Despite inflation and soaring commodity prices, Thais are showing an eagerness to travel after being stuck in the country for two years.”

The recent survey by Europ Assistance sharply contradicts statements by a Thai tour agency, Kangwal Holiday, in April, which said that most Thais were still cautious about travelling outside the country. The easing of Covid-19 restrictions seems to be encouraging Thais to venture into the world. Now that Thailand Pass is due to be canceled in July, we can probably expect even more Thais to follow this trend.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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