Bittersweet retail holiday
The Thai economy may not have fully recovered, but a survey shows locals still plan to celebrate Valentine's Day on Saturday, the same as lovebirds scattered around the world.
This year Thais are likely to be more cautious with their spending, said Thanavath Phonvichai, vice-president for research at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.
The centre surveyed 1,255 people nationwide recently and found they plan to spend an average of 1,900 baht a person on Valentine's Day.
This is estimated to generate money flows in businesses of 3.51 billion baht, only 4.5% higher than last year, marking the lowest growth in the past nine years, said Mr Thanavath.
He attributed the stingy spending to weak confidence in the economy and higher product prices.
Despite political unrest last year, Thais spent 3.36 billion baht on Valentine's Day, which was an increase of 4.7% from the year earlier.
Based on the survey, 30.8% of respondents plan to spend 1,900 baht per person during Valentine's Day, up from the average of 1,813 baht they spent last year. Some 30.8% of respondents say they prefer buying flowers for their lovers, while another 30% choose to dine out, and nearly 20% will opt to send chocolates.