TAT bullish on Songkran business

Posted on April 13, 2012

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Tourism Authority of Thailand has spent Bt17 million to promote and support Songkran festivities in 13 destinations across Thailand and claims around 5.2 million domestic tourists will travel over the peak four-day holiday.

Overall, TAT governor, Suraphon Svetasreni said 6.3 million tourists will generate Bt5.3 billion. He claims travel will continue to be high, post-Songkran, until 29 April, boosted mainly by the school holiday break. Easter holidays brought more tourists to Thailand over the 6 to 8 April weekend, while Thailand’s summer school holidays are prompting family travel  both locally and to overseas destinations.

TAT splits its estimates into three groups: 5.2 million domestic travellers earning Bt28,800; around 640,000 expatriates living in Thailand, who will generate Bt6,400 million and around 500,000 international tourists generating Bt18,000 million in spending.

There will be 13 major venues for Songkran celebrations in Thailand this weekend. They are: Bangkok; Ayutthaya; Suphan Buri; Chonburi; Samut Prakan; Chiang Mai; Sukhothai; Nakhon Phanom; Khon Kean; Nhong Khai; Songkhla; Phuket and Nakhon Si Thammarat.

In these destinations alone, TAT estimates 1.4 million holiday makers will spend Bt4,572 million.

Thai Hotels Association ex-president, Prakit Chinaamournpong, said bookings across the nation had improved over last year. Currently, bookings during Songkran will give hotels occupancy of around 80% to 85%. In some destinations such as Phuket and Krabi, bookings could push the average to 90%.

Top suppliers are China, Russia, India and Korea. Most Chinese tourists travel to Thailand on charter flights.

Mr Prakit suggested Songkran will be stronger basing  his optimism on strong economies in Asia, a stable political situation in Thailand and many tourists, who cancelled during the flood last year, are now rebooking trips.

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