Songkran is the Thai New Year's festival. The Thai New Year's Day is 13 April every year. The Songkran 2017 holiday period was from 11-17 April and Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports said the total economic impact of spending during the period was 45.428 billion Baht (US$1.3 billion*), representing a 14.40 per cent increase over the same period last year.
During the Songkran 2017 holiday period, Thailand attracted 695,894 international tourists and generated about 36.941 billion Baht (US$1 billion), up 10.9 per cent and 16.40 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile, domestic tourism resulted in 3.03 million trips and 8.487 billion Baht (US$242 million) revenue up 3.36 per cent and 6.45 per cent, respectively.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports in collaboration with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) organized and supported celebrations of Songkran 2017 in 14 destinations nationwide: Bangkok, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Ayutthaya, Songkhla (Hat Yai), Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phuket, Nong Khai, Samut Prakarn, Suphanburi, Nakhon Phanom, Lampang, and Sukhothai.
Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports said, “With 41 per cent of domestic trips going into 14 destinations where Songkran 2017 celebrations were organized by the Ministry in collaboration with the TAT, that means Thais spent on accommodation, food and transport, thus supported local businesses. This makes us proud for being able to entice Thais to travel domestically.”
Based on the Ministry’s preliminary data, of the 3.03 million domestic trips during 11-17 April, 2017, a total of 1.25 million trips took place in the 14 destinations, a growth of 5.61 per cent when compared to the same period in 2016. The total economic impact totaled 5.15 billion Baht (+7.86 per cent), or 61 per cent of total domestic tourism revenue generated during the Thai New Year 2017.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “I was delighted to see many international tourists joining the Thai people in celebrating Songkran 2017 in the unique Thai ways. The Thai New Year is a time when family comes first, respect is paid to seniors, and people visit the temples to take part in traditional ceremonies. It’s all these beautiful aspects that make Thai culture unique and charming, and make Thailand one of the world’s most unique tourist destinations.”
*Currency converter: 35 Baht / US$1