11 July 2024

UNESCO has issued an official certificate inscribing Songkran, the traditional Thai New Year festival, as part of humanity’s intangible cultural heritage, following the intergovernmental convention for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in Botswana.

Kowit Pakamart, director-general of the Cultural Promotion Department, said that the government plans to celebrate Songkran in grand style, to promote this traditional festival as an element of Thailand’s soft power and tourist attraction from April 1st-21st.

Celebrations will be held in all provinces during this period, he added.

Regarding the forthcoming Chinese New Year festival, from February 4th-14th, it is anticipated that about 3.5 million air travellers, many of them from China, will use the six main airports in Thailand, including more than 3,000 special flights from China.

Airports of Thailand, the operator of most airports in Thailand, including Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang, has been instructed by the Ministry of Transport to increase staff and to coordinate with other agencies, such as the immigration authorities, to prepare for the increased arrivals.

AOT chief executive officer Kirati Kitmanawat said that Chinese tourists will find it easier and more convenient to enter Thailand, since the Thai government exempted tourists holding Chinese or Kazakh passports from requiring a pre-travel visa.