Songkran Expected To Generate Billions for Thailand’s Economy

This year’s Songkran festival is expected to bring between 140 and 200 billion baht into Thailand’s economy.

Recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage event, the festival is expected to attract 10 million international visitors, contributing 11.8 billion baht to total spending.

Following the festival’s recognition, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s government has extended the celebration period to 21 days to boost tourism and economic activity.

However, Thanavath Phonvichai, advisory chairman of the UTCC’s Centre for Economic and Business Forecasting, cautions that domestic spending growth might lag.

Mr. Thanavath notes that although the Songkran holiday is expected to promote a 2.9% increase in economic growth, totaling 129 billion baht in spending by Thais, it is unlikely to exceed the domestic spending peak of 13.5 billion baht recorded in 2019.

He attributes this outlook to uneven economic growth across regions and the cautious spending tendencies of the Thai populace.

The anticipated movement of 140 to 200 billion baht, including 11.8 billion baht from foreign tourists, may not markedly shift these patterns.

Government spokesperson Chai Wacharonke disclosed data from the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Immigration Bureau showing a 146.21% rise in foreign visitor numbers over the same period last year, totaling 10.4 million from January 1 to April 9.

Most of these tourists are from China, Malaysia, Russia, South Korea, and India.

The TAT estimates that spending by domestic and international tourists during the Songkran festival will generate at least 100 billion baht in national revenue.

The Aeronautical Radio of Thailand expects significant air traffic during the festival, with plans to operate 16,307 flights from April 11 to 17, as reported by local media.

Mr. Chai attributes the surge in tourist numbers to the prime minister’s policies on visa exemptions and streamlined immigration procedures.

These governmental strategies are aimed at establishing Thailand as a premier global tourism destination, which is reflected in the substantial number of tourists visiting.