The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is inviting all visitors to join in its unique Chinese New Year (CNY) 2020 celebrations organised in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket to ring in the auspicious ‘Year of the Rat’.
TAT’s annual celebration marks the 45th anniversary of Chinese-Thai relations in 2020. It also marks the 15th year of cultural cooperation between TAT and China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, with 2020 being even more special as it’s the TAT’s 60th anniversary.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “Thailand’s Chinese New Year Celebration is one of the most unique events, and biggest, outside of China. It is considered one of the most important festivals in Thailand, that each year attracts a growing number of local and international tourists. This year TAT’s CNY 2020 celebrations are focusing on traditional celebrations that can also blend in with modern activities.
“TAT’s events also graciously receive support from China with cultural performances. In turn TAT will organise a special tour for Chinese performers to experience ‘Amazing Thailand: Open to the New Shades” showcasing community and responsible tourism, so that they can share their experiences with their families and friends back home and hopefully inspire them to also visit Thailand.”
TAT is organising Chinese New Year 2020 celebrations in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket, from 22 January to 2 February, 2020, inclusive of the following activities:
Chinese New Year Celebration 2020 at Siam Square
From 24 to 26 January – activities include Chinese New Year blessings by Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports and China’s Minister of Culture and Tourism on 24 January, 2020, 17.00 Hrs.: Cultural performances from China (disabled dance troupe from Beijing, dance and musical troupe from Jiangxi, acrobatic troupe from Shanxi, Kung Fu troupe from Henan, dance troupe from Jilin, and dance troupe from Inner Mongolia); venue decorations in Chinese style with an auspicious tunnel and the chance to pay homage to Chinese gods; cooking demonstrations of auspicious food and desserts; Chinese cultural demonstrations including Chinese calligraphy and Xiangqi (Chinese chess), and performances by Thai pop stars.
Chinese New Year Celebration 2020 on Yaowarat Road
From 25 to 26 January – The opening ceremony on 25 January will be presided over by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn together with senior officials from Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, TAT, and China’s Minister of Culture and Tourism.
The two-day event will feature Thai-Chinese cultural exchange performances including a disabled dance troupe from Beijing and dance and musical troupe from Jiangxi on 25 January, and dance troupe from Jilin on 26 January. TAT will have a booth to hand out its 60th anniversary commemorative coin – the head of the coin is the image of the Golden Buddha of Wat Traimit Withayaram Worawihan. The tail image marks the ‘Year of the Rat zodiac sign for 2020 painted by Mr. Han Meilin, China’s national artist, plus Chinese language inscription wishing all for a happy, prosperous, and safe year.
Other notable events include an art exhibition of zodiac signs by China’s national artist Mr. Han Meilin, from 21 to 27 January 2020, at the Fashion Hall, Siam Paragon, and from 20 January to 9 February, 2020 at the China Cultural Centre in Bangkok.
On 22 January, there’s a special performance by a disabled dance troupe from Beijing, a CSR activity to inspire people with disabilities in Thailand, at the China Cultural Centre in Bangkok.
Chinese cultural performance (dance troupe from Inner Mongolia) at the Chinese New Year Celebration 2020 in Chiang Mai, 25 to 26 January
Chinese cultural performance (dance and musical troupe from Jiangxi, acrobatic troupe from Xian, and Kungfu troupe from Henan) at Chinese New Year Celebrations 2020 in Phuket, 31 January to 2 February
There are also Chinese New Year Celebrations at other locations: Nakhon Sawan, Chon Buri, Ratchaburi, Suphanburi, Udon Thani, Songkhla and Hat Yai to name a few.
During the CNY 2020 period (24 to 30 January), TAT expects Thailand to welcome 1,016,000 visitors and generate 21.7 billion Baht in revenue, representing a 1.5% and 1.6% increase, respectively when compared to the same CNY 2019 period. During the same time, Chinese arrivals are expected to reach 312,000 visitors and generate 8.4 billion Baht in revenue, both representing an increase of 2%.
According to Mr. Yuthasak said, there are favourable factors driving Chinese and Asian arrivals to Thailand, including the visa-on-arrival fee waiver scheme for Chinese nationals that has been extended until 30 April, 2020.There has also been a 28% year-on-year increase in advanced air travel bookings during the 24 to 30 January peak travel period from Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea. Bookings from neighbouring ASEAN countries are also up 103% with top markets being Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.
During the CNY 2020 period, Thailand sees 38 airlines operating regular and/or charter flights from 57 Chinese cities to Thailand’s Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Hat Yai, and Ko Samui International Airports. The number of flights has expanded by 2.1% (up 1,500 flights) and seats up by 3.5% or about 300,000 more seats. If considering only the charter and extra flights, there are 309 flights with 60,334 seats from 27 Chinese cities to seven airports in Thailand including Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and Hat Yai.