Thai baht at three-year high

BANGKOK, 12 January 2018: Thailand opened the New Year with researchers noting that the Thai bath was at its strongest in three years.

KRresearch identified the trend warning there were many factors that caused the Thai baht to reach THB32.20 to the USD during the first week of the New Year.

While a strengthening of the Thai baht will concern tour operators who are quoting rates in Europe and North America, it will not have a major impact on tour prices quoted for the Asian market.

KResearch said that while the currency was at its  strongest level in more than three years, it was rising in concert with regional currencies.

This was good news for tour operators serving the major markets in Asia, but a strong baht could hamper recovery in markets in Europe where discretionary spending is being curtailed by the slow-down in economies.

The UK travel market is one that could face challenges as consumers cut spending a trend that was evident over Christmas on items other than food. There is less money for discretionary spend available that could hit bookings for long-haul travel. Last year, just over 1 million UK residents travelled to Thailand.

KResearch views that the continuous upturn in the Thai Baht over the first days of 2018 (reaching THB32.22/USD) is also consistent with funds inflows that have been boosted by positive viewpoints toward strong Thai economic fundamentals and a better recovery trend.

KResearch said other issues to watch include Thailand’s current account surplus, which helped to shore up and  strengthen the baht, while changes in US domestic politics and geopolitical considerations, too, would have a bearing on the baht’s direction.