Grief may mute festive activities

Grief may mute festive activities

Posing for photos in front of CentralWorld shopping complex. A survey says people are likely to join festive activities despite the slow economy and the mourning period.
Posing for photos in front of CentralWorld shopping complex. A survey says people are likely to join festive activities despite the slow economy and the mourning period.

Nearly 90% of Thai people will join New Year activities, the same proportion as last year, despite the impact from the mourning period and the sluggish economy, says Nielsen Thailand.

Managing director Somwalee Limrachtamorn said 88% of those surveyed confirmed that they will take part in year-end festive activities and still respect the government's guidelines for mourning the loss of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Nielsen's latest survey during Nov 2-10 involved 500 respondents in Greater Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Phuket, Hua Hin and Khon Kaen.

Festive activities include events, parties and travel.

Of the respondents, 26% view New Year celebrations as inappropriate during the mourning period.

Year-end events expected to be suspended include countdowns, beer gardens, street shows and music festivals.

Nielsen Thailand forecasts that gift purchases during the festive season will be lower than last year, but 81% of people will still set aside money to spend during New Year, while just one-third will spend more than in the previous New Year.

The survey also found that 30% of people think it will take more time for society to recover from grief and revert to normalcy.

The top 10 festive gift categories are bird's nests, chocolates, biscuits, lip care products, bread spreads, essence of chicken, throat lozenges, breakfast cereals, teas and other drinks.

Ms Somwalee said that normally December would be the peak for spending on fast-moving consumer goods, but retailers instead saw a sharp drop in November as brands and marketers suspended supply to sell during the year-end instead.

"As a result, the growth in product volume fell 6.4% compared with the same period last year," she said.

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