Tourism operators and workers in major tourist provinces believe the government’s proposed plan to allow the annual Songkran festival to go ahead next month could help revitalise the economy even as some remain concerned about health safety.
The government declared 10th-15th April as this year’s Songkran holidays and signalled the annual Songkran festival may be observed as normal as long as social distancing rules and other COVID-19 measures are respected.
Provinces such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Pattaya of Chon Buri and Phuket have stepped up their planning for the Songkran festival but with caution.
The scope of activities to be enjoyed during the festival, such as water throwing, concerts and foam parties, will be decided by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) tomorrow. Songkran revellers will know what they can do and can’t do.
Pakkanan Winijchai, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chiang Mai Office, offered a positive outlook on the province’s tourism prospects during Songkran especially when flight schedules return to normal.
Most tourists in Chiang Mai are still Thai people and tourism here would follow the “new normal” guidelines, she said.
People are already gearing up for Songkran, according to the TAT director. “Over 50% of room occupancy is expected throughout the six-day-long festival,” she said. More foreign tourists were expected in Chiang Mai at the end of the year if vaccine passports were used, said Ms Winijchai.