6 June 2024

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced his government’s intention to promote Thailand as a global festival destination, in the hopes of boosting tourism across the country and attracting more foreign tourists over the New Year period.

Srettha announced today that Thailand will host two major events, namely the “Thailand Winter Festival”, which consists of 3,000 festivals and local events across the country, and the “Colourful Bangkok Winter Festival 2023”, which includes 200 festivals and events in the capital. All of these will all take place in November and December this year.

“Our aim is to use these two major events to boost the country’s economy and attract tourists to Thailand,” Srettha said, while also revealing plans to promote the country as a world festival hub by improving its infrastructure, such as the construction of a new airport on the Andaman coast, as well as the visa-free policy to attract tourists from targeted countries.

Meanwhile, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, deputy-chairwoman of the “soft power strategic committee”, explained that the two events, mentioned by Srettha, will coincide with important celebrations, Loy Krathong and the Christmas-New Year period. With a wide variety of festivals, such as traditions, arts and culture, food, entertainment, sports, as well as New Year countdowns, Paetongtarn believes that these festivals will help Thailand be remembered as a festival destination by foreign tourists, especially during the year-end.

“We see this as an important opportunity for Thailand to become the destination for international tourists during the year-end. We hope that tourists around the world will choose Thailand to celebrate the year-end festivals. Also, spending during Christmas and New Year is usually higher, so we hope that these year-end events will boost the economy and attract foreign tourists to spend in Thailand.”

The Srettha cabinet has already granted visa-free entry to tourists from China and Kazakhstan to boost tourism during the final quarter of the year. The cabinet has also agreed to exempt tourists from India and Taiwan from requiring an entry visa to stay in Thailand for up to 30 days.

The Thai government aims to welcome 25 million international visitors this year, or an average of about two million each month. So far this year, Thailand has welcomed 22 million, which has generated spending of 927 billion baht, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Sport. The top five nationalities for visits to Thailand are Malaysia (3.61 million), China (2.76 million), South Korea (1.31 million), India (1.29 million) and Russia (1.08 million).