Eight countdown events in seven locations will spur the tourism industry and generate 13 billion baht in revenue during the New Year holidays.
Suraphon Svetasreni, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said tourism during the New Year festival will be more active nationwide, especially in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Wang Nam Khieo and Pak Chong districts of Nakhon Ratchasima.
The eight countdown events are Bangkok Countdown 2013, Chiang Mai Countdown 2013, Chiang Rai's Miracle Thailand Countdown 2013, Pattaya Countdown 2013, Phuket Electric Music of Dance Festival 2013, Colorful Phuket Countdown 2013, Night Paradise Hat Yai and Countdown 2013, and Khon Kaen Countdown 2013.
The TAT expects 2.36 million visitors at the eight countdown events. It will spend 5 million baht to support these activities. Bangkok Countdown at CentralWorld will draw 256,000 visitors.
The Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) expects international tourist arrivals in the fourth quarter will increase by 31% to 5.7 million, bringing 2012 total arrivals to 21.7 million.
With the bright prospects, TCT is confident that arrivals will rise by 4.6% to 6 million in next year's first quarter. It forecasts total arrivals in 2013 of 23.1 million, up by 6.5%.
The TAT has also created four tourism routes aimed at boosting domestic tourism. Thais enjoy visiting holy places to pray for blessings especially during New Year festivals.
Among the four routes, the first is Nine Sacred Places in Bangkok. This takes in Wat Kanlayanamit, Wat Chanasongkhram, Wat Phrachetuphon, Wat Phra Si Rattanasasadaram, Wat Rakhangkhositaram, Wat Suthat Thepwararam, Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn, Wat Boworn and Wat Saket.
The second route is the Nine Royal Temples and the third is the Nine Chao Phraya Temples.
The last route is the Temple of the Snake Year: Wat Jed Yod or Wat Bhotharam Maha Vihara, outside Chiang Mai city.
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- Writer: Chadamas Chinmaneevong