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February 20, 2024

Most Recent Initiatives Attracting More Visitors to Thailand

February 20, 2024

Thailand is set to transform the traditional Songkran water festival into a month-long global water festival in 2024, with the aim of attracting international tourists. The extended festival is anticipated to inject 35 billion baht into the Thai economy. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESO) has presented its certificate of recognition of the Songkran festival as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity. The World Songkran Festival will highlight local Songkran traditions and activities. The festival organizers will establish cultural networks in the 76 provinces and the 50 districts of Bangkok. Each province will host water festival events throughout April to promote their unique provincial traditions. Chai Wacharonke, the spokesperson for the government, has confirmed that the nationwide celebrations are scheduled to take place from April 1 to April 21, 2024. Paetongtarn Shinawatra, Pheu Thai Party leader and the National Soft Power Strategy Committee (NSPSC) president, has announced that the government has endorsed the initiative to elevate Songkran to one of the world’s premier festivals.

Another recent initiative attracting more visitors to Thailand is the extension of the visa duration to 90 days, instead of the standard 60 days, for tourists learning Muay Thai in Phuket. This initiative is part of the government’s plan to promote martial arts. During the Lunar New Year Festival, Phuket expected to receive an average of 49,000 tourists per day. Phuket is also popular among foreign tourists interested in health tourism. The Thai government considers the healthcare industry a priority sector and investment and further development, in line with the Thailand 4.0 policy.

Furthermore, the visa-free agreement between Thailand and China anticipates over eight million Chinese tourists to visit Thailand in 2024. The Tourism Authority of Thailand anticipates a significant rise in Chinese tourist arrivals in Koh Samui, the fourth most-searched destination on the Chinese travel agency planform Ctrip. During the Chinese New Year celebrations, Bangkok Airways increased direct flights from Chongqing and Chengdu in southwest China to Koh Samui to four days a week.

To accommodate the increasing number of tourists resulting from these recent initiatives, the Airports of Thailand (AOT) is preparing to enhance services and security. Transport Minister, Suriya Jungrungreangkit, has ordered an inspection of automatic channels, the utilization of technology to help maximize service quality, and the placement of more immigration officers. Real-time passenger tracking systems and self-service kiosks for speedy passenger check-ins have been deployed for fast and convenient services and inspections. 

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