Thailand, one of a home to the largest overseas Chinese community in the world, is planning to welcome the 2016 lunar New Year with grand celebrations across the country. This year, the big day falls on 8 February, but the celebration dates vary in each province with the celebrations co-hosted and supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) scheduled during 5 to 15 February.
Mr. Visanu Jaroensilp, (7th from left) TAT Deputy Governor for Tourism Products and Business and Mr. Chen Jiang (6th from left), Counsellor of the Cultural Section of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Kingdom of Thailand, at the celebration of the Chinese New Year Festival 2016’s press conference today.
Mr. Visanu Jaroensilp, TAT Deputy Governor for Tourism Products and Business said, “Thailand’s celebrations to mark the 2016 Chinese New Year will be even more special, as this is a significant year for the country. This year marks His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 70th anniversary of accession to the throne and the 88th birthday anniversary, as well as Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s seventh cycle or 84th birthday anniversary.
“This year also marks the 41st year of Sino-Thai diplomatic relations, and the 12th anniversary of cooperation between TAT and the Chinese Ministry of Culture in co-hosting the Chinese New Year celebrations in Thailand.”
To commemorate such a significant year for Thailand, TAT has scheduled to hold the 2016 Chinese New Year celebrations during 5-15 February at 13 major destinations nationwide. They are Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Sawan, Ayutthaya, Suphan Buri, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Chon Buri (Pattaya), Songkhla (Hat Yai), Phuket, Trang and Udon Thani.
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Highlights for the TAT’s 2016 Chinese New Year celebrations at the 13 destinations will include:
A special ceremony to extend lunar New Year’s greetings to people across China and Thailand by Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, H.E. Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Kingdom of Thailand, E. Mr. Ning Fukui. The event will take place on 7 February at the China Cultural Centre in Bangkok.
The official opening ceremony of the Yaowarat Chinese New Year 2016 that will be graciously presided over by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. The event will take place on 8 February at Bangkok’s Chinatown on Yaowarat Road.
The Ministry of Culture, the People’s Republic of China has prepared special cultural shows from nine famous troupes and more than 180 performers as part of the wishes for the New Year of the Monkey for the people of Thailand. The shows will take place on 8-9 February at different locations:
Bangkok – musical and dance performances from Beijing
Nakhon Sawan – Kungfu performances from Tianjin
Suphan Buri – acrobatic performances from Ningxia
Ayutthaya – dance performances from Hangzhuo
Ratchaburi – Chinese opera performances from Beijing
Nakhon Ratchasima – dance and cultural performances from Xinjiang
Udon Thani – acrobatic and puppetry shows from Fujian and dance performances from Chengdu
Songkhla (Hat Yai) – dance performances from Mongolia
Phuket – musical and dance performances from Beijing and Kungfu performances from Tianjin
The ceremony to pay homage to the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, the highly revered Buddhist image of the Mahayana Buddhism followers, which has been taken from the Hua Seng Temple, Huangshan Mountains in Anhui province, China.
TAT estimates that the 2016 Chinese New Year celebrations, from 5-15 February, will help generate 2,350 million Baht for the Thai economy through the myriad of tourist activities, such as, from the travel and related expenses to pay homage to revered Buddhist images for blessings at destinations across Thailand.Mr. Visanu said, “The collaboration in organising the Chinese New Year celebrations in Thailand has strengthened the Sino-Thai relations while the array of great activities in different locations has attracted visitors to stay longer, thus resulting in more tourism spending and help to boost the economy. The performances from China not only help light up the celebration, but also inspire inter-cultural understanding. In addition, TAT takes this opportunity to promote Thailand and our cultural heritage through the experiences of the Chinese performers by arranging cultural tour programmes for them.”
In addition, during 6-14 February, TAT targets Thailand to attract about 1.01 million international visitor arrivals and generate approximately 29.92 billion Baht tourism revenue, representing a year-on-year increase of 19 per cent and 32 per cent, respectively. Of the totals, Thailand’s five main markets with large Chinese communities – China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia – are expected to contribute 476,000 visitors (up 20 per cent) and 15.2 billion Baht revenue (up 32 per cent).