Covid-19 biggest worry for New Year celebrations: poll

Covid-19 biggest worry for New Year celebrations: poll

People line up to have their temperatures taken as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus at the Ministry of Transport at the border crossing over the second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge in Mae Sot in Tak province on Oct 29, 2020. (AFP file photo)
People line up to have their temperatures taken as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus at the Ministry of Transport at the border crossing over the second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge in Mae Sot in Tak province on Oct 29, 2020. (AFP file photo)

Covid-19 is by far the biggest worry for Thais over the upcoming New Year celebrations, followed by the poor economy and their own financial problems, according to a survey by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, or Suan Dusit Poll.

The poll was conducted online on 1,277 people throughout the country on Dec 4-10 to guage their travel plans over the New Year holiday. 

Asked to mention factors they thought could affect their travel plans during the New Year -- with each respondent allowed to give more than one answer -- the Covid-19 pandemic came first with 92.71%, followed by the economy at 56.74%; their own financial problems at 56.74%; traffic conditions at 37.62%; and differences of opinion among family members at 32.52%.

On their favourite travel destinations, Chiang Mai came first with 31.67%; Bangkok 22.77%; Chon Buri 20.42%; Nan 12.83%; and Chiang Rai 12.31%.

Asked what they wanted the government to do to promote tourism over the holiday, 76.40% mentioned measures to prevent Covid-19 transmission; 56.33% cited measures to prevent and cope with tourism-related accidents; 50.75% wanted the government to provide subsidies for lodging and air fares; 44.22% said the government should allow travel expenses to be used as tax deductions; and 42.96% said the government should issue discount coupons for tourism.

Asked to mention five travelling "behaviors" they would change during the coming New Year, 83.56% said they would be more careful; 68.13% would avoid crowded locations; 66.88% said they would be more selective about travel destinations; 58.65% said they would visit tourist spots nearer their homes; and 33.67% said they would try to make one-day trips without staying overnight.

On their average travel expenses per year, 26,17% said they spend from 10,001-20,000 baht for travel; 23.72% 5,000-10,000 baht; 18.81% 20,001-30,000 baht; 17.23% more than 30,000 baht; and 14.07% less than 5,000 baht.

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