Domestic tourism is expected to record the highest level of travel sentiment in the third quarter since the pandemic thanks to a shift towards an endemic approach and several long holidays, according to the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT).
Domestic tourism has kept up with positive signs as the number of local tourists planning their holidays is expected to reach a peak over the past two years, said Chamnan Srisawat, president of the TCT.
Of 440 local respondents who have a monthly salary of over 10,000 baht, 63% have domestic travel plans in the third quarter, while 58% will spend 4-5 nights on average during their trips.
Some 54% are ready to take their trips in July, followed by 51% in August and 19% in September.
Mr Chamnan said that more local tourists want to venture out from their region or province at around 48%, compared to only 26-29% in the previous quarter.
Travelling by car was the most popular mode of transportation (57%) among respondents despite higher fuel prices.
The council also polled the confidence index of 740 tourism operators regarding the upcoming long holiday in the third quarter, including Asanha Bucha Day and the start of Buddhist Lent during July 13-17, and found that the index stood at 70.
The confidence index for His Majesty the King's birthday between July 28-31 and Mother's Day between Aug 12-14 stood at 69 and 66, respectively.
Confidence among operators improved, but it was still below 100 which indicates "stable" tourism confidence.
The overall economy should be lifted by the full reopening on July 1, resulting in stronger confidence in tourism spending, said Chaiyapruk Thongkam, president of the Association of Domestic Travel.
Japan might start to open for international tourists, but additional requirements during the first stage would impede the flow of Thai travellers.
He said higher living costs could impact their outbound travel plans. People will avoid overseas trips and plan more domestic trips as they could travel more often with the support from the stimulus scheme which would help ease the financial burden.
"Nature-based tourism such as the blooming of krachiao flowers in Chaiyaphum or camping as well as cultural events like the candle festival for Buddhist Lent celebrations are expected to attract more locals," Mr Chaiyapruk said.
According to the Tourism and Sports Ministry, local tourists made 53.3 million trips from January to May, surging 126.8% year-on-year.
During this period, domestic tourism revenue increased by 108.1% to 248 billion baht.