BANGKOK: The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has revealed that tourism revenue earned from international visitor arrivals to Thailand and domestic trips during the 2019 Songkran holiday all showed year-on-year increases over the same period in 2018.
TAT Governor K. Yuthasak Supasorn said that during the holiday period of April 12-16, 2019, total revenue from the international arrivals and domestic trips amounted to 22.07 billion Baht, an increase of 15 percent year-on-year.
The number of international arrivals reached 543,300 (up 8% year-on-year) and generated revenue of 10.23 billion Baht (up 14%). There were 3.27 million trips by domestic tourists (up 3%) generating 11.84 billion Baht (up 7%).
According to K. Yuthasak, international visitor arrivals performance was, overall near the projections. The East Asia market accounted for the majority of foreign arrivals during the Songkran Festival. Arrivals from Hong Kong and India were higher than expected thanks to the visa-on-arrival fee waiver in place.
The domestic market also performed close to the expectation.
To showcase local traditions of the annual Thai water festival, TAT staged Songkran 2019 festivities in the three emerging destinations of Tak, Mukdahan and Ranong. It also supported activities in 10 other provinces (Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, Lampang, Udon Thani, Songkhla and Phuket).
“Together these destinations saw 1.03 million domestic trips during the holiday period with 5.11 billion Baht generated for the local economy. Hotel occupancy in these destinations averaged 80 percent,” K. Yuthasak said.
While the Songkran or traditional Thai New Year holiday normally takes place from 13-15 April every year, there are some locations that stage unique local festivities a little later. These include in Samut Prakan’s Phra Pradaeng district in the Central Thailand region, where the local Mon people observe New Year traditions from 19-21 April.
In the Na Haeo district of Loei in Northeastern Thailand, locals celebrate the Thai New Year with a procession of flower trees – the only tradition of its kind in the country. This year the procession was on 19 and 27 April.
In the Eastern region, Chon Buri’s Pattaya-Naklua districts celebrated Wan Lai (water day) on 18-19 April, Map Ta Phut in Rayong’s Songkran was from 19-21 April (with 21 April being Wan Lai), and the country’s easternmost Songkran celebration took place at Laem Ngop in Trat on the last Friday of April (26 April 2019).