Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports says the total economic impact of spending during the Songkran 2017 holiday was 45.428 billion Baht (US$1.3 billion*), representing a 14.40 per cent increase over the same period last year. In addition, several destinations nationwide were reportedly recording noticeable tourism growth during the Thai New Year period.
During the Songkran 2017 holiday period from 11-17 April, 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. Since the beginning of the year, Thailand already attracted 10.72 million, up 1.9% year-on-year.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports in collaboration with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) organised and supported celebrations of Songkran 2017 in 14 destinations nationwide. They are: 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.
H.E. Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports personally joined the Songkran 2017 celebrations in Khon Kaen, Ayutthaya, and Chon Buri. In Khon Kaen, she also took part in setting a new record for the “human wave” activity, covering a one-kilometre-long strip on Khao Neao Road. The activity, which started in 2009 to symbolise unity, attracted 100,000 participants on the first day (13 April), swoll to over 120,000 revellers on the second day and concluded with 135,271 participants on the last day. It involved three rounds of human waves created with the participants jumping from the ground with hands raised high and sitting down immediately.
Next big event is the hosted Global Summit organised by the WTTC (World Travel Tourism Council). The international tourism summit will be a major high-profile event and will be attended by international political and business personalities such as the former British prime minister David Cameron, AirAsia founder Tony Fernandes, Emirates Group president Gary Chapman, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group chief executive James Riley, Google Travel managing director Rob Torres, Agoda co-founder Robert Rosenstein and Siam Piwat CEO Chadathip Chutrakul. Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will deliver a speech, urging foreign investors to invest in Thailand infrastructure and tourism. Some 750 participants will attend the event.