Songkran splash good for cash flow
BANGKOK, 11 April 2012: Assumption University of Thailand research estimates Songkran holiday makers will spend Bt144.19 billion across the country.
Released Tuesday, the ABAC study polled 2,149 Thais, from 12 years old upwards in 28 provinces nationwide. The pollsters carried out interviews mid March to 9 April.
The results showed 58.5% of those interviewed said they would travel and spend in their hometown provinces. Another 41.5% said they would travel beyond their provinces. As cited in Tourism Authority of Thailand press releases the underlying theme is family time. The poll confirmed that 65.9% will travel with family members, 29.5% with their life partners, 25.9% with friends and just 4.6% with work colleagues.
The university estimated spending over the four days could reach Bt144.19 billion across all provinces and tourist destinations.
Breaking down the spend further 48% of the respondents said transport (gasoline, bus and airfares) was the main item. ABAC estimates transport related spending at Bt69 billion
Another 43.6% identified food and beverages and ABAC estimated the spend would reach Bt62 billion.
Asked about activities during the holiday, predictably 62.3% of those under 24 said they were content to splash water for four days. Another 44.5%, over 25, said they would spend more time driving their cars or motor cycles.
In addition, 54.8% of teenagers interviewed and 32.3% of the adults said they were keen to watch provocative dances by youth women in wet clothes during Songkran.
Another 38.1%, under 24, and 34.6% of the adults said they would drink alcohol during the festival. Gambling was also cited as a Songkran activity by 34% of the youth and 33.9% of the adults. The poll claimed 14.2% of youth and 4.5% of grown-ups said they intended to use illegal drugs during the holiday.
As for the person Thais most want to splash, 43.7% named Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Runners up in the splash game were former prime minister and opposition Democrat Party leader, Abhisit Vejjajiva, at 26.9%; 11.1% named former premier and Democrat Party leader Chuan Leekpai; 10.6% named deputy prime minister Chalerm Yoobamrung; and 4.2% named Matupoom leader and former head of the Council for National Security, Sonthi Boonyaratglin.
In the former prime minister category 40.2% of the respondents said Thaksin Shinawatra was the top target for a blessed soaking followed by Prem Tinsulanonda (23.4%); Chuan Leekpai (11.5%); Abhisit Vejjajiva (11%); and Anand Panyarachun (9%).