TOURISM

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Thailand scores a first by hosting IEEE PES GTD ASIA 2019

Published April 22, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

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Thailand scores a first by hosting IEEE PES GTD ASIA 2019

Breaking News April 22, 2019 11:50

By The Nation

Thailand’s meeting, incentive travel, conventions exhibitions (MICE) industry is celebrating the successfully organisation of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power and Energy Society (PES) Generation Transmission and Distribution (GTD) Grand International Conference & Exposition Asia 2019 (IEEE PES GTD ASIA 2019).

The event which held from March 19 to 23 March in Bangkok after more than 40 years of being organised only in the United States.

Held on the theme “Big Shift in Power and Energy”, the IEEE PES GTD ASIA 2019 conference and exhibition boasted more 400 exhibiting booths and more than 10,000 visitors from all over the world, with keynote speakers and industry experts from the US, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, China and Singapore.

Nichapa Yoswee, Senior Vice President – Business, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), said hosting the first IEEE PES GTD ASIA 2019 held outside of the United States represented a huge win for Thailand’s dynamic MICE industry. TCEB supported the IEEE PES Thailand Chapter in bidding for this event.

Beyond the cutting edge technology and new trends in power and energy, Thomas W Mayne, IEEE PES Vice President – Meetings, said Thailand won by doing what it does best – organising outstanding events supported by amazing Thai hospitality.

The IEEE PES GTD ASIA 2019 event consists of three main profiles in the electricity and energy industry, grouped into Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution, and Renewable Energy covering all engineering and technological fields.

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Tourists follow ‘Game of Thrones’ trail in Northern Ireland

Published April 22, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30368038

Game of Thrones fans listen to a presentation as they visit the Castle Ward Estate in Strangford, northern Ireland, on April 17, 2019 the location of Winterfell in Game of Thrones, and one of the many locations used by the hit HBO show./AFP
Game of Thrones fans listen to a presentation as they visit the Castle Ward Estate in Strangford, northern Ireland, on April 17, 2019 the location of Winterfell in Game of Thrones, and one of the many locations used by the hit HBO show./AFP

Tourists follow ‘Game of Thrones’ trail in Northern Ireland

Tourism April 21, 2019 01:00

By Agence France-Presse
Belfast

Wielding a replica broadsword, Indian tourist Akshay Mannur duels with friends — re-enacting scenes from “Game of Thrones” on the Northern Ireland pilgrimage trail for devotees of the blockbuster fantasy TV show.

Since the blood and guts series began its rise to prominence in 2011, fans have started to flock to the coastal caves and ruined castles of the British province where much of the HBO television production was shot.

“Every new step is like something new, it’s more than my expectations,” 23-year-old student Mannur marvelled.

“It’s a beautiful country — Northern Ireland is just amazing.”

Multinational tour buses

Tourism Northern Ireland estimates the magical show — in its final season — drew 120,000 visitors to the province in 2016, generating £30 million (35 million euros, $39 million).

One in six visitors now comes to Northern Ireland to visit shooting locations, according to their estimates.

Along the largely coastal trail, a short drive outside the capital of Belfast, that popularity is clear to see.

A steady hum of buses and coaches are marshalled in and out of parking lots on strict schedules, and sleepy village shops throng with tourists.

“The last week, I think on Saturday past, we had a bus with 24 nationalities on it,” said tour guide Patrick Rogan at the mouth of the Cushendun Caves, the site of a pivotal plot point in the series.

“We had people from Patagonia, from New Zealand, from Japan, from Russia, from South Korea and Europe, so I think that tells its own story.”

Since 2012 his employer — the “Stones and Thrones” tour — has offered daily outings out of Belfast, manned mainly by guides who have acted as extras on the show.

Today they run at least two full buses a day, he said, competing with at least four other companies offering a similar service.

Other more bespoke tour services offer immersive experiences — axe-throwing, archery, and photo opportunities with a pair of wolves that starred in the epic series.

‘The dark history’

A popular comparison holds that “Game of Thrones” is to Northern Ireland tourism what “Lord of the Rings” has been to New Zealand.

But Northern Ireland’s very recent bloody past during the so-called ‘Troubles’ — when 3,500 were killed in 30 years of sectarian strife — makes the boom particularly welcome.

“The dark history that was here is coming out,” said Irish actor Liam Cunningham, a stalwart character in the series now feted as the most expensive to ever be filmed for the small screen.

“The place is blooming, and for us to have this show here and be part of that transition is joyful.”

‘This still has longevity’

Cunningham was speaking at the opening of a touring exhibition of costume and scenery pieces in Belfast, the same week as the new season of the series premiered.

Ranked displays of dragon skulls, intricately crafted weapons and interactive exhibits are preceded by a gallery of landscape prints, depicting the countryside shooting locations.

A caption on one image reads “Views to die horribly for”, whilst another reads “Sun, sea and savagery”, referring to the show’s reputation for bloodily killing off major characters.

They are testament to the canny local tourist board, making efforts to cement the link between their territory and the series.

“I think our association with such a global success helps to transform the image of Northern Ireland across the globe,” said John McGrillen, chief executive of Tourism Northern Ireland.

“In many ways that gives you PR that you just simply couldn’t buy.”

With the final season of “Game of Thrones” under way, the fever pitch devotion to the series may be about to end.

But with spin-off projects in the pipeline and a studio tour development due to open in Northern Ireland next year, the province still hopes for tourism revenues.

“We think this still has longevity,” said McGrillen.

(More) incentives sought for tourism

Published April 19, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30367928

(More) incentives sought for tourism

Tourism April 19, 2019 01:00

By The Nation

BUSINESSES are calling on the government to come up with incentives to shore up the tourism industry, such as further liberalisation on visas that include fee waivers for citizens of countries that are still required to apply.

The appeals were made after Thailand recorded only slight growth in visitor number for the first two months, following a downturn last year.

The number of tourists visiting Thailand in January and February was 7.29 million, up 2.53 per cent from the same period of last year, and tourism-based income edged up 0.77 per cent to Bt387 billion.

Vichit Prakobgosol, president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), said that, in the first quarter of this year, the number of foreign visitors is expected to improve slightly from the same quarter of last year, with close attention paid to the inflows from China.

Throughout the year, the number of Chinese visitors is expected to be at least 11 million, and the inflows are projected to have returned to normal in March. At least 1 million Chinese visited on each the first two months of the year, and this slightly lower than for the same period a year before.

Tourism operators, including tour agencies and hotels, are worried that the industry will grow only slightly and is need of government stimulus measures, particularly visa-fee exemptions for those visitors who do not enjoy visa-free conditions.

In the second quarter of this year, the tourism industry is forecast to continue facing the hazardous dust problem, particularly in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, which are the main destinations for Chinese and other foreign tourists.

Aside from the need for urgency in easing the air pollution, Thailand should carry out proactive marketing strategies through visa measures such as visa-on-arrival (VOA) fee exemption. Advocates of the VOA fee exemption are proposing to the Cabinet that it extend the expiration to October 31. The initiative is set to expire on April 30.

Ronnachit Mahattanapreut, senior vice president of finance and administration at Central Plaza Hotel Plc, which operates its hotels under the banner of Centara Hotels, concedes that the overall hotel business in the first and second quarters of this year may be worse than in the same periods of last year.

Tourism in the first quarter of this year has suffered the lingering effects of a slump in Chinese arrivals, triggered by the sinking of a tour boat off Phuket that killed dozens of mostly Chinese visitors in the second half of last year. There has also been the impact of the US-China trade war, which has prompted Chinese tourists to bargain more on hotel rates, Ronnachit said. As well, troubles in the Russian economy have affected visitor numbers, and new hotels have been added in every tourism city.

“Thai hotel business in the first half of this year is different from the first half of last year, which was relatively very strong,” Ronnachit said.

“The number of foreign tourists visiting Thailand in the first two months had not much growth compared to the same period of last year, with a relatively high base. We hope the situation will improve in the latter half (of this year) from the stimulus measures on the tourist market, particularly the VOA fee exemption measure, on which the government is considering an extension.”

Hotels under the Centara Hotels brand have launched marketing campaigns to attract foreign tourists from other countries to make up the slump in Chinese travellers. The promising markets that the company has identified include India, South Korea, Japan, France and Germany.

Other potential problems for the hotel business include the country’s political uncertainties, which could affect the meeting, incentive travel, conventions, and exhibitions segment.

In the first quarter of this year, before the March 24 election, the foreign MICE market has slowed down slightly as people waited for a clearer political situation to emerge. More events are expected to be held after a new government is formed.

THAI rebooks 387 passengers after truck damages jumbo jet wing at De Gaulle Airport

Published April 19, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30367892

THAI rebooks 387 passengers after truck damages jumbo jet wing at De Gaulle Airport

Tourism April 18, 2019 14:56

By The Nation

4,083 Viewed

A Thai Airways International flight from Paris to Bangkok was cancelled on Wednesday with the 387 scheduled passengers of the jumbo Aribus 380 aircraft “handled according to standard procedures,” the company confirmed in a statement release on Thursday.

Flight TG931 from Paris-Bangkok was cancelled after a Servair catering truck hit the aircraft’s right wing while it was parked at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in France.

There were no passengers on board during the accident but for passenger safety, it was necessary to cancel the flight concerned and all passengers were handled according to standard procedures, according to a company statement.

Flight Lieutenant Pratana Patanasiri, THAI vice president for the aviation safety, security and standards department, said the Airbus A380 aircraft was scheduled to depart at 13.40 hours (local time) on April 17 and to arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 05.55 hours the next day.

The plane was at the aircraft parking bay with no passengers on board when a Servair catering truck hit and damaged its right wing while loading in-flight meals.

The flight was cancelled for passenger safety and THAI’s Technical Department coordinated with Airbus to conduct aircraft repairs.

THAI provided assistance to passengers according to standard procedures, transferring passengers to flights operated by other carriers, and providing hotel accommodation for the remaining passengers.

There were 387 passengers scheduled to depart on the original flight.

Thailand sees dip in hotel prices

Published April 19, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30367724

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Thailand sees dip in hotel prices

Tourism April 16, 2019 01:00

By The Nation

The latest Hotel Price Index (HPI) from Hotels.com revealed no sign of a slowdown for the global travel industry. The price travellers paid for overnight accommodation rose 3 per cent globally in 2018 across every regional index, except for the Pacific including Thailand.

On the other hand, Thai travellers paid an average price of Bt1,720 a night for their domestic accommodation in 2018, a 7-per-cent decrease compared with 2017, and paid the same average price of Bt4,437 a night for international accommodation in both 2018 and 2017.

The growth in travel comes despite global uncertainties including Brexit, California wildfires, South African drought and Japanese earthquakes. Travellers also showed resilience and renewed confidence in destinations touched by unrest: Paris, Egypt, Turkey; regions experiencing currency fluctuation: South America; and areas affected by natural disaster: North America. Despite the overall growth in global accommodation prices, average prices paid for domestic accommodation in Thailand have decreased, with average prices for international beds remaining stable.

Adam Jay, president of the Hotels.com brand, said, “‘HPI has always given us a good barometer on the industry and helps give us an insight into global travel trends. This year we have seen growth despite a lot of political challenges and natural disasters, which indicates that the industry shows no signs of slowing down.”

New law planned to protect interests of foreign airline passengers

Published April 13, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30367429

(File Photo) Passengers waiting to confirm flight after face the flight delay when Pakistan close sky on February 28, 2019.
(File Photo) Passengers waiting to confirm flight after face the flight delay when Pakistan close sky on February 28, 2019.

New law planned to protect interests of foreign airline passengers

Tourism April 10, 2019 01:00

By The Nation

4,246 Viewed

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) is planning a draft regulation to protect passengers flying foreign airlines who are affected by flight delays to ensure equal consumer protection.

The regulation is expected to come into force this year.

CAAT director-general Chula Sukmanop said, “Now, more passengers prefer to travel abroad by foreign airlines and there have been flight delays. The CAAT cannot force foreign airlines to pay passengers compensation or take care of the passengers, as there is no law to the effect. We will now rush regulations that will protect the interests of passengers.”

The CAAT presently has the responsibility only of protecting the interests of both Thai and foreign passengers who are affected by flight delays involving Thai airlines.

The CAAT said it had continuously received reports from passengers about delayed flights that have impacted their travel schedules. Most of the delayed flights were Turkish and Russian.

The new regulation will apply the same standard of legal protection to passengers flying by a Thai airline. If a flight is delayed, an airline is required to pay passengers compensation at a determined rate as well as accommodation.

Chula said that if any airline does not abide by the regulation once it comes into effect could compromise the extension of its air operating licence, which would be another way to screen standardised airlines for flying in Thailand and protecting consumers.

The CAAT is considering air operator certificates (AOC) for Thai Summer airline, a Thai-Chinese joint venture, and Thai Eastern airline, a Thai-South Korean joint venture.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s aviation industry is ready for another round of inspections by the International Civil Aviation Organisation on operating standards after it found deficiencies in the past. The CAAT has already completed its standard inspection and AOC issuance for all 25 airlines operating in Thailand.

According to a Transport Ministry announcement on protection of passengers flying Thai-registered airlines on local routes, passengers will receive necessary care extending from food, beverage, communications and refund of air fare to flight changes in a case of delayed flights.

Meanwhile, Tourism and Sport Minister Weerasak Kowsurat said the ministry would send the Immigration Bureau a letter asking about the proposed extension of the free visa-on-arrival (VOA) scheme, which expires at the end of April, for citizens of 20 countries and one economy.

Earlier, the Tourism Authority of Thailand had proposed extension of the free VOA scheme for six more months, till the end of October this year.

The Cabinet did not discuss the matter at its meeting yesterday. Extension of this measure is expected to boost tourists from China, who are expected to travel to Thailand in bigger numbers, Weerasak said.

The ministry will also discuss with the Foreign Ministry an arrangement for a double-entry visa at an earlier rate of Bt1,000 per person, another measure to woo foreign tourists to Thailand. This planned visa arrangement had earlier been approved by the Cabinet in principle.

Songkran spending to rise over 2% year on year

Published April 13, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30367428

Passengers wait at the Mo Chit 2 bus station yesterday to travel or return to their home towns to celebrate the Songkran festival from April 12-16, 2019.-Photo by Nation
Passengers wait at the Mo Chit 2 bus station yesterday to travel or return to their home towns to celebrate the Songkran festival from April 12-16, 2019.-Photo by Nation

Songkran spending to rise over 2% year on year

Tourism April 10, 2019 01:00

By The Nation

3,568 Viewed

Total spending during the Songkran festival will amount to at least Bt135 billion, increasing by 2.78 per cent year on year, according to a poll conducted by the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber also expects the new government to take office by September and forecasts this year’s GDP growth at 3.5 per cent.

Thanawat Phonwichai, director of the Economic and Business Forecasting Centre of the chamber, said that during Songkran, total spending was expected to be Bt135 billion compared to last year’s Bt132 billion, a 2.78 per cent increase.

He said that 87.2 per cent of those planning to travel will do so within the country, with average spending at Bt5,232 per person.

The remaining 12.8 per cent will go abroad, mostly to Japan, Singapore, Korea and Hong Kong.

He said the smog problem in the northern region would affect tourism, especially in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Phayao provinces, causing tourism income to decline by Bt5 billion to Bt7 billion.

The top Songkran activity would be allowing elders to pour water on one’s heads, followed by parties, which is expected to increase from the past year. The politician most in demand to pour water on other people’s heads as part of the Songkran celebration ceremony is Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, followed by the leader of the Future Forward Party, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, who has overtaken Thaksin Shinawatra in the popularity stakes.

“We hope that economic growth in the country would continue to progress. According to our forecast, if the new government is established by September, the new prime minister will be able to push for an annual GDP growth of 3.5 per cent.

“Meanwhile, if the GDP growth does not reach 3.5 per cent, it could be due to political unrest and the ongoing US-China trade war,” Thanawat said.

Meanwhile, Kasikorn Research Centre estimated that increased travel by both Thai and foreign tourists during the Songkran festival (April 11 to 17), will generate Bt28 billion in revenue for the tourism and related sectors, an increase of 2.2 per cent year on year.

Of the total estimated revenue, Bt12.2 billion is expected to come from Thais travelling within the Kingdom and Bt15.8 billion will be generated by foreign tourists visiting the country during the festival.

The bank’s research centre said various factors would affect the tourism industry, which will need to be monitored, such as whether it would be possible to extend the free visa-on-arrival scheme, which will end on April 30. Another issue is the global economic slowdown, which decreases the purchasing power of foreign tourists visiting Thailand.

The research centre has predicted that the number of tourists visiting Thailand throughout 2019 is likely to be more than 39 million.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports reported that during the first two months of the year, the number of foreign tourists visiting Thailand grew 2.5 per cent year on year, totalling 7.29 million people.

Thais lead world in travel this year

Published April 13, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30367404

Thais lead world in travel this year

Tourism April 10, 2019 01:00

By   THE NATION

3,296 Viewed

THAI people plan to travel overseas by an average 3.9 trips in 2019 – higher than other countries in the Asia Pacific and even across the globe, according to the latest survey by Visa.

According to the 500-sample survey in 27 countries, people in the Asia Pacific plan to travel an average 2.8 trips this year, while the global average is 2.7 trips in 2019 – well below the Thai overseas plans for 3.9 trips.

Meanwhile, travel spending by Thai people would increase from an average Bt49,135.68 per trip to Bt73,670.80 per trip in this year and 2020, Visa Thailand’s country manager, Suripong Tantiyanon, said recently.

Following the high overseas travel spending using credit cards in the first quarter of the year saw to rising, for example First Choice Credit card reported 30 per cent increase when compared to the same period of last year. KTC also forecasts that spending for travel will increase by up to 55 per cent in the first quarter of this year, and continue to rise over the rest of 2019.

The top five destinations for Thai people to travel were Japan (64 per cent), Hong Kong (37 per cent), Singapore (29 per cent), South Korea (21 per cent) and China (16 per cent). The first four destinations will remain on the list for the year 2020, the survey found.

Vietjet adds 5 new routes to Mekong Delta centre

Published April 13, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30367362

Vietjet adds 5 new routes to Mekong Delta centre

Tourism April 09, 2019 01:00

By The Nation

3,199 Viewed

Can Tho city, the economic hub of the Mekong Delta, this week saw a ceremony for five new domestic routes at its international airport as Vietjet added Can Tho–Hai Phong, Can Tho–Vinh (Nghe An province), Can Tho–Thanh Hoa, Can Tho–Nha Trang (Khanh Hoa province) and Can Tho–Dalat (Lam Dong).

The ceremony included Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and senior leaders of the Vietnam government.

The new routes will operate from April 26, with Vietjet establishing itself as the airline with the most flights to and from Can Tho city, the company’s chairwoman, Nguyen Thanh Ha, said.

With Vietjet now having the advantage in the region, she said, “the new routes will not only create convenient travelling opportunities for local people and tourists by safe, modern air transportation, but also promote foreign exchange and contribute to increased investment in the area.”

Haze casts shadow over Songkran tourism

Published April 13, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30367355

Haze casts shadow over Songkran tourism

Tourism April 09, 2019 01:00

By THE NATION

5,334 Viewed

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has forecast tourism levels during Songkran to drop by 10 per cent, partly due to the northern haze problems.

Meanwhile, the Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA) expects the strong baht to encourage Thais to travel abroad during the Songkran festival.

TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the haze problem in the northern region would have a direct impact on tourism levels in the North during the Songkran festival from April 12 to 16. It is expected that the number of tourists will drop by more than 10 per cent compared to last year. Hence, tourist groups are expected to adjust their travel plans and choose to travel to other areas in the Kingdom instead.

He expected overall hotel occupancy rate in the northern region during Songkran to be around 75 per cent. Hotels in areas affected by wildfires, such as Mae Rim, Chiang Dao and Fang districts of Chiang Mai province may have reservation rates under 50 per cent. Hotels in Mae Hong Son province may face the worst booking rate at under 30 per cent, making some hotels opt to close down for renovations.

“Due to the fallout from the downturn in the three northern provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son, TAT expects tourism revenue during this year’s Songkran to reduce by Bt2 billion,” he said.

The TAT has predicted that the number of Thai tourists travelling during the Songkran festival at 3.11 million people, increasing by 3 per cent and generating 5 per cent revenue growth, amounting to Bt10.697 billion.

Some 546,000 foreign tourists are expected, an 8 per cent increase, generating an increase in revenue of 14 per cent, valued at Bt10.283 billion. In total, this is expected to generate an income spread of Bt20.98 billion, a 10 per cent increase year on year with a national average reservation rate of 75 per cent.

Most tourists visiting during the holiday season are predicted to be from nearby markets, such as Asean countries, China, Taiwan, and India, with the top three Asean tourists being from Singapore, increasing by 26 per cent; Malaysia, increasing by 24 per cent; and Vietnam, increasing by 22 per cent. Meanwhile, tourists from East Asian markets are also forecast to increase, with tourists from Hong Kong increasing by 26 per cent; from South Korea by 14 per cent; and from Japan by 5 per cent.

Supawan Tanomkieatipume, president of the Thai Hotel Association (THA), said that the rate of hotel bookings throughout the country during Songkran was not good yet.

At present, Chiang Mai has only a 60 per cent reservation level after being affected by haze problems. Bangkok and Pattaya have similar bookings at 60 per cent. The southern region has 70 to 80 per cent bookings.

A key cause of the low reservation rate is the global economic slowdown, which has yet to recover, she said.

“The hotel occupancy rate for Songkran this year is expected to decrease by 5 per cent year on year due to the impact of the smog crisis. This has led to lower reservations by foreign tourists compared to the same period last year,” she said. “Hotel operators hope to see more last-minute bookings in the days leading up to the Songkran festival.”

Vichit Prakobgosol, president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), said that although the level of bookings of foreign tourists this Songkran was not comparable with last year, the reduction of tourist figures this year was not drastic. Due to the smog problem in the northern region, Chinese tourists, who usually visit Chiang Mai in large numbers during Songkran, may change their travel destinations to other countries such as Japan, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia.

On the other hand, the appreciation of the baht will lead to more Thais travelling abroad during Songkran, Yuthasak said.

Airports of Thailand Plc (AOT) reported that during this year’s Songkran period, an average of 40,000 Thais would travel abroad every day.

TTAA vice president Charoen Wangananont said that because 2019 has two consecutive holidays – Chakri Memorial Day and the Songkran break – Thais are more likely to make plans to travel for up to 10 days from April 6 to 15. This long holiday season makes Japan the most popular destination for Thais, followed by Europe.

He predicted that during this period, up to 300,000 Thais would travel abroad, spending at least Bt30,000 per trip, with a total spending of Bt9 billion.

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