Songkran a boon for tourism income

Songkran a boon for tourism income

Domestic revenue set to reach B52.5bn

Visitors examine travel offers at the Thai Teaw Thai fair held in February under the theme 'Amazing Grand Sale'. The TAT estimates that local tourists will spend 50 billion baht during this year's bumper Songkran holiday. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)
Visitors examine travel offers at the Thai Teaw Thai fair held in February under the theme 'Amazing Grand Sale'. The TAT estimates that local tourists will spend 50 billion baht during this year's bumper Songkran holiday. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)

This year's 21-day-long Songkran festival is projected to generate 52.5 billion baht in domestic tourism revenue, with provinces in the East securing the most income, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

The government hopes that the extra-long celebration for the traditional Thai New Year this month, running between April 1-21, will help stimulate tourism income amid stagnant domestic consumption.

The TAT projected that local tourists would spend 52.5 billion baht during this period, up from 13 billion baht recorded during the regular five-day-long celebration in 2023, while the average occupancy nationwide should reach 78%, thanks to healthy bookings in seaside destinations in both the East and South of the country.

TAT governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool said the number of local trips will reach 15 million -- a higher projection when compared with the estimate made for the corresponding period last year, which stood at just 3.8 million trips.

She said the region securing most local travellers would be the Northeast with 3.73 million trips, followed by the Central region with 3.43 million trips and the East with 2.78 million trips.

However, in terms of revenue, the eastern provinces would secure most revenue, estimated at 10.6 billion baht, followed by Bangkok at 9.9 billion baht and the North with 9.7 billion baht.

The southern provinces, which tend to be more popular among international travellers, are projected to earn 7.7 billion baht from 1.39 million local trips.

Ms Thapanee said the agency is this year supporting six destinations holding Songkran celebrations, namely Bangkok, Songkhla, Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, Phitsanulok and Mae Hong Son.

These areas should attract at least 2.29 million local trips, generating 16.3 billion baht, with Bangkok and Chiang Mai remaining the most attractive destinations with 1.3 million and 440,330 local trips, respectively.

Despite facing high levels of air pollution, TAT expects Chiang Mai to secure an average occupancy rate of 82%, even higher than Bangkok which is projected to hit 74%.

However, in terms of revenue, Chiang Mai would earn less than Bangkok with receipts estimated to reach 4.3 billion baht.

Among the six destinations, Sukhothai and Mae Hong Son are set to have the lowest domestic income during the Songkran celebrations with 113 million baht and 390 million baht, respectively.

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