The Songkran festival is expected to be livelier this year, with a predicted surge in participants. The annual festival, which is celebrated across Thailand, signifies the traditional Thai New Year and is marked by water-throwing and street parties.
After last year’s muted celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Thai residents and tourists are expected to flock to the streets, eager to take part in the festivities this year. Despite concerns over a potential rise in COVID-19 cases, authorities have stated that they will ensure strict measures are in place to ensure the safety of all participants.
Total spending during Songkran in Thailand is predicted to be 125 billion baht, making it the liveliest celebration since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic three years ago. The Centre for Economic and Business Forecasting (CEBF) of the Thai Chamber of Commerce University (TCCU) reports that each festival-goer will spend an average of 7,091 baht on tourism, with an increase in visitor arrivals responsible for economic recovery.
According to the CEBF, most survey respondents plan to pay their respects to elders and engage in recreational travel during the festival, despite concerns over PM2.5 pollution and COVID-19. Seaside areas are the most popular destinations during this year’s festival, with Chon Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi and Rayong the most sought-after. Celebrations will also return to Bangkok, with multiple venues anticipated to host the event. Hotel staff in some of these establishments have been instructed to wear colourful shirts, while the hotels are decorated with flags to create a festive atmosphere.