Leveraging the Gradually Weakening Baht for Affordable Travel Plans to Thailand

This article has been reviewed by Wego‘s editorial team to ensure that the content is up to date & accurate.

Unexpected opportunities frequently emerge in the ever-changing landscape of global economics. One such opportunity is the gradual weakening of the Thai baht, a trend that savvy travelers can leverage for more affordable travel plans to Thailand.

This article delves into the factors that have led to the baht’s weakening, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine. It also provides practical tips on how travelers can make the most of this situation, turning their dream trip to the Land of Smiles into a reality that fits their budget.

This informative feature by Wego discusses ways to make the most of your Thai adventure amidst the baht’s depreciation.

Thailand’s economic landscape

United States Dollar to Thai Baht

In 2018, the Thai baht stood out as Asia’s best-performing currency. This achievement was largely due to Thailand’s strong economic fundamentals, including a current account surplus and significant foreign reserves, largely from tourism. Bangkok, a popular destination in Southeast Asia, played a crucial role in this success, as did the manufacturing sector, significantly boosting Thailand’s economy and leading to one of the world’s lowest unemployment rates.

However, recent global events like the COVID-19 pandemic have significantly impacted Thailand’s economy and the baht. The pandemic hit Thailand’s tourism-dependent economy hard, with revenues falling from USD 90 billion in 2019 to USD 24 billion in 2020 due to travel restrictions and lockdowns. As a result, the once-strong baht declined by 9.9% against the dollar in 2021.

The current state of affairs between Russia and Ukraine has also had a mixed impact on Thailand. It led to a surge of Russian tourists, especially in Phuket, where over 233,000 Russians visited between November 2022 and January 2023. This boosted the local economy through property investments and increased spending. However, sanctions also caused economic shocks and knock-on effects. Despite the boost from Russian tourists, the overall impact of the geopolitical situation has contributed to the continued depreciation of the Thai baht in 2024.

Should you convert your currency to Thai Baht now?

The recent depreciation of the baht’s value can be traced back to global events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing diplomatic dynamics between Russia and Ukraine. These factors have caused ripples in the global currency market, affecting the baht, among others.

This weakening of the baht could present a unique advantage for travelers. By holding off on currency exchange, particularly if the baht is projected to depreciate further, they stand to gain more baht per dollar exchanged. This approach could lead to substantial savings, allowing travelers to stretch their budget further during their trip to Thailand and enjoy a wider range of experiences and activities.

Should you make your bookings now?

Holding off on your bookings until the baht weakens further might be more beneficial. By postponing your bookings, you could capitalize on more advantageous exchange rates, potentially leading to significant savings on accommodations, flights, and activities during your Thai adventure.

However, if a compelling deal presents itself now, you might want to secure your booking to lock in the offer while continuing to monitor the currency exchange rates for future savings opportunities.

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Hotels

The cost of accommodations in Thailand fluctuates based on the season. Prices generally reach their peak during the high tourist season, which typically extends from November to February. Following this period, prices tend to decrease progressively each month.

Take, for example, the Amari Hotel, a luxurious 5-star property in Bangkok. For bookings in March 2024, the rate stands at USD 225 during the shoulder seasons. However, in September 2024, in the midst of the rainy season, when tourist numbers usually dwindle, the rate significantly reduced to just USD 118. This substantial price variation is a crucial factor to consider when scheduling your visit.

Wego hotel price for March 2024 stay

Wego hotel price for September 2024 stay

Similarly, the Holiday Inn Resort, a 4-star establishment in Phuket, has a rate of USD 140 for accommodations in March 2024. However, for stays in September 2024, the rate drops to a more affordable USD 102. This significant decrease in price is worth noting.

Wego hotel price for March 2024 stay

Wego hotel price for September 2024 stay

If budget-friendly travel to Thailand is your goal, it might be beneficial to sidestep the peak tourist seasons to evade inflated accommodation costs. This strategy could lead to substantial savings, which you can then divert towards enhancing your experiences and activities during your journey.

Book Your Stay in Thailand Book Your Stay in Thailand

 

Flights

November to February is widely regarded as the tourist season in Thailand, primarily due to the cool and dry weather. The remaining months can be excessively hot or marked by heavy rainfall. This peak season is associated with higher flight ticket prices to Thailand, which are typically at their highest during this period.

Apart from the tourist season, various other factors can contribute to price surges, which can differ based on location. Let’s delve into a few examples.

Wego price data for one-way flight tickets from Dubai to Bangkok

 

Flight prices from Dubai to Bangkok exhibit notable variations over time. The lowest recorded price was USD 323 in May 2019, likely due to the intense heat in Thailand deterring travelers from Dubai. In contrast, the highest price peaked at USD 733 in January 2024, coinciding with Thailand’s peak tourist season when the cooler weather could attract travelers from Dubai.

Flight prices from Dubai to Bangkok on Wego for 30 March 2024

 

Book Cheap Flights from Dubai to Bangkok Book Cheap Flights from Dubai to Bangkok

 

Wego price data for one-way flight tickets from Kuwait City to Bangkok

 

We see significant fluctuations when we examine flight prices from Kuwait City to Bangkok. The lowest recorded price was USD 267 in November 2019, possibly due to heavy rainfall in Thailand, which many tourists prefer to avoid. Conversely, there were two notable peak prices of USD 712 in January 2023 and USD 717 in April 2023. These peak prices align with periods when individuals from Kuwait seek to escape the cold weather, as temperatures can drop to between 10°C to 15°C.

Flight prices from Kuwait City to Bangkok on Wego for 30 March 2024

 

Book Cheap Flights from Kuwait City to Bangkok Book Cheap Flights from Kuwait City to Bangkok

 

Wego price data for one-way flight tickets from New Delhi to Bangkok

 

Flight prices from New Delhi to Bangkok present a different reason for the airfare spike. A significant peak was observed in April 2019, which coincided with the 2019 Indian general election. This surge corresponds with extended public holidays and likely fueled increased travel demand during this period.

Therefore, it may not be solely attributed to seasonal or cultural factors; various elements could contribute. For instance, elections, as in this case, can provide people with an opportune time to travel, thereby increasing demand and driving up flight prices.

Flight prices from New Delhi to Bangkok on Wego for 30 March 2024

 

Book Cheap Flights from New Delhi to Bangkok Book Cheap Flights from New Delhi to Bangkok

 

Wego price data for one-way flight tickets from Dubai to Phuket

 

Flight prices from Dubai to Phuket reveal two notable peaks in July 2019 and February 2023. The peak in July 2019 can be attributed to the extremely dry weather in Dubai and the favorable humidity conditions in Thailand during that period.

Conversely, the peak in February 2023 is simply due to it being the tourist season in Thailand, leading to increased travel demand.

Flight prices from Dubai to Phuket on Wego for 30 March 2024

 

Book Cheap Flights from Dubai to Phuket Book Cheap Flights from Dubai to Phuket

 

Wego price data for one-way flight tickets from Kuwait City to Phuket

 

A noticeable peak in flight prices from Kuwait City to Phuket occurred in February 2019. As previously mentioned, this aligns with periods when individuals from Kuwait look to escape the cold weather, with temperatures dropping to around 10°C to 15°C. The same trend was observed in January 2023.

Flight prices from Kuwait City to Phuket on Wego for 30 March 2024

 

Book Cheap Flights from Kuwait City to Phuket Book Cheap Flights from Kuwait City to Phuket

 

Wego price data for one-way flight tickets from New Delhi to Phuket

 

Flight prices from New Delhi to Phuket show a significant peak in January 2023, likely due to the holiday season when many people opt to travel abroad.

Flight prices from New Delhi to Phuket on Wego for 30 March 2024

 

Book Cheap Flights from New Delhi to Phuket Book Cheap Flights from New Delhi to Phuket

 

In conclusion, as flight prices are expected to decrease further towards the end of the year due to the conclusion of the tourist season, coupled with the gradual weakening of the baht, it is advisable for tourists to consider visiting Thailand at a later date.

The perfect time to explore Thailand

The period from November to February, characterized by cool and dry weather, is often considered the prime tourist season in Bangkok and Phuket. During this time, the milder temperatures make it ideal for travelers to visit renowned landmarks such as the Grand Palace and Wat Arun in Bangkok.

Similarly, in Phuket, tourists can relish the stunning beaches of Patong, Kata, Karon, and Kamala and embark on boat trips to nearby islands like Phi Phi and James Bond Island. However, it’s worth noting that this peak season also brings larger crowds and elevated hotel rates, making early planning essential.

For those who prefer to dodge the crowds and inflated prices of the peak season while still experiencing pleasant weather, the shoulder seasons of March to May and September to October serve as excellent alternatives. The hot season from March to May is ideal for city exploration and outdoor adventures in Thailand, while the rainy season from June to October, contrary to its name, offers refreshing showers that amplify the beauty of the lush green landscapes, making it a perfect time for nature lovers to visit.

Beyond seasonal preferences, travelers might want to consider slightly delaying their Thailand visit. The Thai baht has been on a gradual decline, implying that visitors could get more baht per dollar if they postpone their trip. However, if there’s an immediate need or desire to visit Thailand, it’s important to note that the baht has depreciated to a point where the exchange rate is also somewhat favorable at present. Therefore, while waiting might yield greater financial advantages, opting to visit sooner rather than later can still be beneficial, given the current economic conditions.

 

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