Tourism Authority of Thailand splashing out on events
B30m to fund Songkran festivities in 15 provinces
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced the use of 30 million baht in funds to finance Songkran activities in 15 provinces, aiming to boost tourism income from the events to 21 billion baht.
The celebrations will be carried out separately in each area, starting this Sunday through April 21, including in three less-popular provinces: Tak, Mukdahan and Ranong.
TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn expects the festival this year to attract some 3.1 million local tourists and about 546,000 foreigners, up 3% and 8% respectively.
Tourism income anticipated from these two sources is 10.7 billion and 10.3 billion baht for a total of 21 billion baht, up 10% from a year earlier.
A large number of foreign tourists are expected to join Thailand's traditional water-splashing festival from neighbouring and Asean countries, including Malaysia, Laos, Singapore and Vietnam.
China, Taiwan, India, South Korea and Japan are also key markets, Mr Yuthasak said.
Noppadon Pakprot, deputy governor for domestic marketing, said the TAT this year has emphasised arranging the festival to coincide with promotional plans for second-tier provinces in order to promote income distribution and improve local economies.
Tak, Mukdahan and Ranong have been enlisted to host Songkran this year, apart from popular cities like Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, Samut Prakan, Chon Buri, Phuket, Songkhla, Suphan Buri and Bangkok.
The festivals organised in the three secondary provinces will reflect local wisdom and culture. For Mukdahan, the Muk-Savan Fun & Fin Festival will take place at Manopirom beach near the Mekong River.
In Ranong, a 30-metre holy mineral water tunnel will be installed and participants encouraged to wear traditional Peranakan dress to express the root culture of Ranong province.
Amazing Songkran 2019 @ Tak will highlight cultures from northern Thailand and Myanmar, capped by a parade of 2,000 people from seven ethnicities during the fair, running April 12 and 13.