A new wave to curb festival tourism
TAT predicts 50% drop in revenue during Songkran
A travel agency worker sits outside his closed store in Bangkok on Thursday. Thailand remains closed to international tourists due to Covid-19.
New Covid-19 outbreak expected to halve tourism revenue during Songkran festival after many provinces voluntarily imposed 14-day quarantines while dozens of events were canceled or postponed, Authority says Tourism of Thailand (TAT).
TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said a large number of infections from the Thong Lor cluster will impact tourist activities next week, leading to tighter travel regulations in major destinations and a drop tourist confidence.
TAT had previously estimated that 3.2 million domestic trips next week would generate 12 billion baht for the economy.
However, given the outbreak, Yuthasak said the number of trips and revenue are expected to fall by 50% to 1.6 million and 6 billion baht, respectively.
Nearly 70% of guests traveling to Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin) have already canceled their hotel rooms as the province has detected a high number of local infections.
This week, Hua Hin reported 25 Covid-19 cases linked to travelers from Nonthaburi. More tourists will continue to cancel bookings if the number of Covid-19 cases continues to rise, he said.
Chiang Mai, which requires tourists from Bangkok, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan and Nakhon Pathom to observe a 14-day quarantine period or take a test for Covid-19 upon arrival, has seen cancellations of around 20 %.
Hotels in Pattaya reported a drop in bookings, with occupancy expected to fall from 90% to 60% after tourists worried about security and strict travel measures in many places.
The North East, which has eight provinces requiring 10- or 14-day quarantines for those in at-risk areas, also saw 20% cancellations, led by Nakhon Ratchasima with more than 130 reservations cleared.
Mr. Yuthasak said hotels in the South had reported cancellations of around 15% compared to an average occupancy of 50-90% previously.
Cancellations in this area are not as high as in other places as Phuket and Phangnga still allow tourists to visit without quarantine. Instead, they asked travelers to activate a tracking app.
However, some provinces that use Songkhla’s Hat Yai Airport as a transportation hub may see more cancellations as Songkhla issued a 14-day quarantine mandate for travelers from at-risk areas, including Bangkok.
Hotels in Satun, a province accessible only from Hat Yai airport, saw 14.3% cancellations for an average occupancy rate of 54.4%.
Gulf of Thailand destinations also felt the impact as Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan saw 20% of all bookings cancelled, while Nakhon Si Thammarat saw 15% cancellations.
Meanwhile, some 38 events and activities planned for Songkran across the country have been canceled or postponed to help contain the spread of the virus, including the TAT-sponsored “Amazing Songkran Festival” from April 13-15.