Long holiday rakes in B8.8bn
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said the recent long national holiday generated 8.8 billion baht in revenue.
TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the agency met its revenue goal, adding it is "pleased" with the outcome of the burgeoning local travel scene.
The tourism industry had previously been buoyed by foreign tourists. But with the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic impact, the TAT devised a campaign called "Rao Thiao Duay Kan" to encourage Thais to travel as much as possible, thus generating revenues.
One of its tactics is to encourage people to travel on weekdays. The TAT has also mulled the creation of more holidays and opportunities for locals to visit various parts of the kingdom.
For instance, the government announced the recent Songkran replacement days, which ran from Friday until Monday.
The Thai traditional new year holiday, held in April, was postponed to prevent Covid-19 infections.
"The TAT will promote weekday travel and improve Rao Thiao Duay Kan," the tourism authority governor said. "We want to make it more convenient for people to travel."
Due to the initiative, Prachin Buri saw its slumbering tourism trade boom over the weekend. A number of local tourists visited an overcrowded Khao Yai National Park, while others explored rivers and waterfalls in the province's Na Di district.
Six rivercraft operators in Na Di reportedly welcomed over 4,000 tourists that weekend. All 300 of its inflatable rafts were reportedly fully booked, a much-needed boost for local tourism operators.
Chaiwat Thongkamkoon, permanent secretary of the Transport Ministry, said holidaymakers made 7,968,080 trips in total, and 11,215,836 vehicles entered and exited Bangkok, 36% higher than initially predicted.
Ministry data showed 325 car accidents with 48 deaths and 309 others injured. A total of 81% of the accidents occurred due to speeding.
Meanwhile, there were 92 motorcycle accidents with 25 fatalities. Ratchaburi and Suphan Buri had the most motorcycle accidents.
No accidents were reported on waterways, railways and airways.