Foreign currency exchanges by Thai travellers soar 73%


Thais made 73 per cent more foreign currency exchanges in September compared to the previous month as more countries reopened fully to visitors, according to statistics collected by YouTrip Thailand.

The operator of the multi-currency travel wallet reported on Tuesday that the significant rise in demand for foreign currency was due to Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong last month lifting travel restrictions and quarantine requirements for international visitors imposed since the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Japanese yen saw the biggest hike in demand from Thai travellers, with a 341 per cent increase, followed by the Australian dollar at 77 per cent and the British pound at 56 per cent compared to August,” said YouTrip Thailand founding partner Juthasri Kuvinichkul.

Juthasri pointed out that another contributing factor for the rising demand of foreign currency among Thai travellers was the weakening of the baht to 37.5-38 baht to the US dollar – the weakest in 16 years.

“Thais will need to exchange more money for their overseas trips to travel and purchase souvenirs,” she said.

“Meanwhile, the number of international trips booked by Thais is also rising among both business and casual travellers, as people have been forced to postpone overseas trips for nearly three years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Foreign currency exchanges by Thai travellers soar 73%

Juthasri added that Japan was among the top destinations for Thai travellers in September.

She cited statistics from OTA Insight, which said the search for plane tickets from Thailand to Osaka and Kyoto had jumped 27 and 26 times, respectively, since Japan announced it was lifting travel restrictions.

Unlike hotels in New York and London, those in Japan still maintain discounted prices used during the Covid-19 crisis, which is about 40 per cent cheaper than pre-pandemic normal prices, Juthasri said.

However, she estimates that operators will gradually raise prices as more tourists return.

“This year-end is a good start to overseas travel either for business or pleasure, and is a positive sign for the travel industry that has been on pause for three years during the outbreak,” Juthasri said.

“Due to high demand, travellers will need to plan their reservation and travel schedule ahead, as well as prepare more money to spend on trips due to global inflation and a weakening of the baht,” she advised.