THAILAND’S MARKET for gifts and souvenir products is showing signs of renewed growth after having contracted for the past two years, the Thai Gifts, Premiums & Decorative Association said yesterday.
Jirabool Vittayasing, president of the association, said the market for gifts, premium items and home-decorative products had been sluggish over the past few years due to the country’s economic slowdown.
Although the market dropped by 3 per cent year on year in July, there are signs of an overall improvement during the second half, he said.
According to the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), the economy grew by 3.5 per cent year on year in the second quarter, following 3.2-per-cent growth in the first three months of the year.
This resulted in overall economic expansion of 3.4 per cent in the first six months, compared to the same period last year.
The recent upturn in the economy has been driven by many encouraging factors, including higher public and private investments, household spending and agricultural output, and a rebounding tourism sector, he said.
However, exports are still in the doldrums, having declined 3.1 per cent year on year during the first half.
The NESDB has forecast 3.3-per-cent Thai economic growth for the full year, driven by many positive factors in the second half, including higher government expenditure and the launch of economic-stimulus campaigns, the recovery of the tourism sector, and an increase in household income.
“We have seen greater domestic demand for gifts, premiums and home-decorative products, which showed significant improvement in August and September, in line with the rebound of the overall economy,” the association chief said.
“The market is expected to witness 2-per-cent growth, year on year, in the fourth quarter,” he added.
Jirabool said other encouraging factors were the recovery of the local tourism sector and the continuous purchase of gifts and souvenir products from Thailand by the Walt Disney Company for the past two years – for sale at its stores and Disneyland theme parks around the world.
The US entertainment giant has shifted the main sourcing of its gifts and souvenirs from China to Thailand due to rising concern over China’s economic situation and higher labour costs, he explained.
As to Thai consumers, their spending on gifts, premiums and home-decorative products had declined significantly over the past two years amid domestic economic difficulties, he said.
“Gifts are not necessities in people’s lives. However, the industry adjusted itself quite quickly, with many players improving and developing their products and waiting for the market to rebound,” he added.
Consumer spending on gifts was flat at the beginning of the year, and the upcoming year-end giving period will be a crucial factor in the rebound of the local market.
Meanwhile, Jirabool said the online market, largely developed by young entrepreneurs, had emerged as a significant factor in the diversity of gift products in the market place.
“With changing consumer behaviour in favour of online shopping and the diversity of gift products created by the new generation of business entrepreneurs, we believe that the online market will add economic value to the country,” he said.
The association, in cooperation with NCC Exhibition Organiser (NEO), will host the “Thailand Bestbuys 2016” fair from December 16 to 25 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre.
Bussaya Prakorbtong, NEO general manager said that the show is expected to attract more than 220,000 visitors. It is also expected to get strong participation from local and foreign entrepreneurs and generate sales of over Bt300 million – some 10 per cent higher than last year.