March - April

Tourism Authority of Thailand expects 2.3mn visitors for Songkran

THAILAND: The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expects more than 2.3 million locals and foreign visitors will join Songkran festivals this year, generating some B20 billion in revenue for tourism and tourism-related services.

More than 2.3 million locals and foreign visitors are expected to join Songkran festivals next month. Photo Anthony Bouch

TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said some 300,000 international arrivals are expected to celebrate the five-day festival starting from April 12, with 2 million locals.

The number of visitors has grown from previous years as the government approved an extra holiday on April 12 in addition to the scheduled April 13-16, he said.

Mr Yuthasak admitted he was a bit concerned about the poor air quality at provinces in the North, especially Chiang Mai, home to a major Songkran festival in the region. He said he hopes the situation improves soon.

Chiang Mai is one of several provinces in the North struggling with haze because of open-air burning of farm waste and rubbish. The heavy smog caused temporary suspension of flights between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son, said Mr Yuthasak.

Speaking on the 59th anniversary of the TAT, he said the agency will continue to promote tourism to reduce economic inequality by encouraging tourists to visit the 55 second-tier provinces.

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