Rain flooding likely to dampen third quarter flood of tourism

Rain flooding likely to dampen third quarter flood of tourism

Thailand has been elated to finally welcome tourists - mostly - but now, in the wake of the pandemic, a new threat to tourism has emerged. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said it expects a normally profitable third quarter to be marred by flooding in 21 provinces in Thailand. The flooding is expected to particularly affect corporate travel.

 

Across most of Thailand, hotel prices are dropping as it is low season, so this is the perfect time for corporations to take advantage and book business travel, incentive trips, employee outings and other business travel. Government travel is also popular in the third quarter as the fiscal year ends at the end of September and any unused funds must be spent to support the next fiscal year's budget.

Officials expect many provinces to be hit by flood cancellations in Chonburi (including Pattaya), Chanthaburi, Kanchanaburi, Nakhon Nayok, Prachinburi, Prachuap Kirihan (with tourist hotspots Hua Hin and Cha-am). ), Ratcha Buri, Samut Songkram and Suphan Buri. TAT governor explains flood damage as a domino effect.

“Some corporate groups have already cancelled or postponed their trips this month which mostly impacted destinations in the east and the central region. Even though agriculture is the hardest hit sector, tourism in many places could be affected as purchasing power has decreased significantly.”

The flooding created difficulties for movement in the regions, and also warned of the danger to tourism activities. In Chanthaburi, campsites warn people not to hike or hike as they risk getting caught in heavy rains. Representatives of the Khao Chamao National Park in Rayong warn that heavy rains have made swimming in the falls too dangerous.

Heavy rain has blocked the flow of floodwaters and is making movement difficult in some areas. In the north, reservoirs and dams still exist and are not yet overflowing, although forecasts predict 20% more precipitation than usual.

But in the south and northeast, there are full-flowing river basins in the mountains, such as the Chi and Mun rivers, which are threatened by flash flooding during a rainstorm. To date, flood waters have flooded 412,462 rai of land from these rivers in 16 provinces.

While corporate travel is expected to drop in the third quarter due to the flooding, TAT suspects that the fourth quarter could pick up sharply due to all the pent-up energy of those who are itching to travel. In August, 566 billion baht was received from 102.9 million domestic trips, and TAT believes that the goal of 656 billion baht and 160 million trips by the end of the year is quite achievable.

Officials fear that when the rain floods subside, the tourist flow could create problems by creating bottlenecks in major tourist centers. They call for careful planning to ensure infrastructure is ready to welcome incoming tourists, and for strategies to spread wealth by promoting and creating events and attractions outside of major tourist destinations.