AoT President Nitinai Sirismatthakarn said that from Dec 27 to Jan 2, total air passengers at AoT's six international airports – Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Phuket, Chiang Rai, Hat Yai and Chiang Mai – are expected to increase by 11.8%. The number of flights is forecast to grow by 12.6% compared with the same time last year.
An average of 453,600 passengers will travel by air each day during the period, with an average of 2,610 flights per day.
The company also predicted that Suvarnabhumi airport will be the most crowded with 1.52mn passengers or 217,000 passengers per day, representing growth of 15.3% year-on-year, and there will be 8,000 flights or 1,140 flights per day, showing a 15% increase.
Don Mueang airport is expected to follow with total passengers of 887,000 or 126,700 per day, up 11.7%.
To facilitate air travellers, AoT has established assistance centres at all six airports. Assisting teams will be stationed around the clock at each centre.
During the same period, data surveyed by the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) shows that Thais will begin to travel within the country on Dec 27 and return on Jan 2. Of the total, 36% of them will take a holiday and 33% will return to their hometowns.
Some 43% of them will travel by personal vehicles, while 31% will use public transport. Meanwhile, 42% of them will spend money on shopping.
Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said local people will make 2.7mn trips within the country from Dec 29 to Jan 1, a 3% increase year-on-year. Local residents are expected to generate tourism income of B9.5 billion, up 3%.
During the period, the TAT predicts that 520,000 foreigners will travel in the country and spend B7.8bn, up 9% and 15% respectively.
Kasikorn Research Center forecasts Thais to spend B15.2bn on travel from Dec 28 to Jan 1, up 4.9% from a year earlier. One major factor boosting growth is the tourist tax deduction scheme offered for visiting 55 second-tier provinces. The scheme is set to end this month.
At the same time, the centre hopes foreign tourists will contribute revenue of B32.2bn, or a 6% increase year-on-year, with guests mostly from Malaysia, South Korea, Japan and India.
The TCT forecasts 10.7mn foreign tourists to travel into Thailand in the first quarter of 2019, a 0.8% increase from the first three months this year.
Some 2.3mn expected visitors will come from Southeast Asia, 2.5mn from Europe, 4mn from East Asia and the rest from elsewhere.
From East Asia, China is expected to remain among the top arrivals with 3mn, up 3.7% versus the first quarter of this year.
The council believes that the country will receive 40mn tourists in the coming year, a 5.5% increase from 2018. Foreigners will generate revenue of B2.2 trillion.
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