B10.87bn for Loy Krathong festival

People are expecting to spend around 10.87 billion baht during the Loy Krathong festival on Sunday, Nov 17, the Economic and Business Forecasting Centre at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce reported on Thursday.

Thanavath Phonwichai, the centre’s director, said his centre based the finding on interviews with 1,245 people between Nov 8 and 13.

The projected expenditure is up by only 5.6% from last year, due to people’s concerns over ongoing political protests and the high cost of living, he said.

A total of 71.8% of respondents confirmed that they planned to go out float their krathongs at festivity sites and canals near their homes, to maintain tradition and ask for blessing from the goddess of rivers.

Some 43.7% of them believed the festival atmosphere would be as joyful as last year, but 25% said it would be less joyful on the back of political tensions, economic slowdown and high living costs.

The survey showed that people expected to spend an average 1,593 baht each, up from 1,459 baht last year, on the festival -  buying floats, fireworks, food, flowers and for transportation.

It also found that festival spending in Bangkok and nearby provinces would increase by 3.4% to 3.85 billion baht and in the provinces by 6.8% to seven billion baht.

Mr Thanavath said the anti-amnesty bill protests would not have direct impact on tourism during the Loy Krathong festival, except in areas near the rally sites.

He said respondents gave suggestions on the current political situation, including that government should formally withdraw the controversial blanket amnesty bill from parliament.

The government should allow people’s democratic freedom of political expression, refrain from using force to disperse protesters, and prevent violent confrontation between protest groups of differing opinions, they said.

People polled also called on protesters to rally in a peaceful manner, without weapons and within the law.

Related search: Loy krathong, candle ceremony, Thailand, expenditure, opinion survey

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