Bt24 bn to be spent during Songkran, survey reports
The Nation, 12th April, 2006

A shopper buys home decorations for Songkran at Ton Lamyai Market in Chiang Mai.

Bangkokians are expected to spend Bt24 billion over the Songkran holiday, according to a survey by Kasikorn Research Centre.

The study conducted from March 29 to April 4 in Bangkok surveyed a total of 1,046 respondents representing all groups.

It sought to find out about the spending behaviours of the public during Sonkran.

The survey found spending among Bangkok residents this year should exceed last year's amount by 14 per cent.

About Bt11 billion of locals' expenditures would be made in the provinces.

About Bt7 billion are to be used as travelling expenses abroad.

The most favoured destination of locals surveyed appeared to be at the seaside.

The report found the main activities during Songkran this year would be merit-making, water-splashing, shopping, going to the movies, eating out, organising parties and travelling upcountry.

Travel patterns were broken down to trips upcountry, visiting relatives in the provinces, and overseas tours.

Of the Bt17 billion earmarked for domestic spending, Bt11 billion will be blown in the provinces while Bt6 billion will be splashed out in Bangkok, the survey concluded.

Cash in circulation was expected to boost festival-related businesses including tourism and retail outlets.

KRC expects money in Bangkok will be spent on gifts for relatives in the provinces and on outdoor activities.

"The average spending by Bangkok consumers when they go out will be about Bt1,536.35 per person," Kasikorn said in its report.

Spending on gifts for relatives in provinces is expected to amount to Bt2.2 billion with the average person spending Bt1,443.

Apparel, food and sweets were the gift itemsmost favoured. Activities such as dining, watching movies, and going to theme parks were expected to draw receipts worth Bt1.8 billion this year.

Bangkokians are expected to spend Bt1,633 each on merit making.

Tourists from Bangkok are expected to spend Bt4 billion -or Bt2,108 per person - on Songkran-related activities in the provinces. Travel expenses incurred while going to the provinces should inject Bt5.6 billion into the economy, equating to spending of Bt2,489 per person.

Top destinations for Thais going abroad during the holiday, in order of choice, are China, South Korea, Britain and the US, the survey said.