TAT eyes B24.4bn from Songkran

TAT eyes B24.4bn from Songkran

Celebrations poised to run for 21 days

Revellers splash about at the Songkran festival on Khao San Road in 2023.  (Photo: Nutthawat Wichieanbut)
Revellers splash about at the Songkran festival on Khao San Road in 2023.  (Photo: Nutthawat Wichieanbut)

The Songkran festival is expected to generate 24.4 billion baht during the five-day holiday, drawing 510,000 foreign travellers and 4.29 million domestic trips, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

The government plans to launch Maha Songkran World Water Festival 2024 to showcase water splashing activities and persuade more foreign tourists to visit the country.

TAT governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool said revenue from the Songkran holiday from April 12-16 is estimated to grow by 49% year-on-year.

Roughly 15.6 billion baht is expected from 4.29 million domestic trips, while 510,000 foreign tourists are projected to contribute 8.76 billion baht as they join the Songkran festival.

Bangkok, which is hosting the festival at Ratchadamnoen Klang Avenue during April 11-15, is expected to earn 3.7 billion baht based on 635,590 domestic trips.

Ms Thapanee said while most locals visit their hometowns in other provinces, tourism in Bangkok will be driven by foreigners.

She said other provinces should also benefit from celebrations nationwide that will be extended across 21 days in April.

The government allocated 130 million baht for three ministries to jointly promote the state celebration, comprising the Tourism and Sports, Interior and Culture ministries, which will host Songkran celebrations in all provinces.

Tourism and Sports Minister Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol said the Maha Songkran World Water Festival will feature 20 special parades, depicting Thai culture from across all regions, as well as parades showcasing actors from Boy Love series.

As of March 10, foreign tourism arrivals for the year tallied 7.4 million, generating more than 359 billion baht.

China remained the largest inbound market, with 1.36 million visitors, followed by the Malaysian market with 986,234 arrivals and Russia with 492,302.

Ms Sudawan said the key drivers are the visa-free schemes covering China, India, Taiwan and Kazakhstan, which should help create growth, along with the recovery of international flights.

She said with celebrations spread across 21 days, the Songkran festival will start in Chiang Mai from April 1-15, before wrapping up with the "Wan Lai" festival in Chon Buri from April 19-21, which is known for a later water festival than other provinces.

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