Spending during Thai Lunar New Year could reach $1.36 billion

BANGKOK, Thailand: Consumer spending in Thailand over the ongoing Lunar New Year period could increase 13.6 percent to $1.36 billion, which would represent a three-year high, according to the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

The estimated spending compares with $1.2 billion last year, Thanavath Phonvichai, president of the university, told a briefing.

"This Lunar New Year will be the most active in three years," he said, as quoted by Reuters, adding that the projected 13.6 percent spending growth this year would be the highest in 15 years.

"People are ready to spend, though some with lower incomes are cautious," he added, citing a consumer spending survey conducted by the university.

Lunar New Year celebrations normally signal a jump in spending by many Thais and visitors from China and other parts of Asia.

China’s reopening raises hopes for the return of Chinese visitors, who accounted for nearly one-third of Thailand’s 40 million foreign tourist arrivals in pre-pandemic 2019.

The government expects at least five million Chinese tourists this year, with some 300,000 during the first quarter.