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Nine-day Songkran under consideration

Nine-day Songkran under consideration

THAILAND: The government is considering adding two more public holidays during the Songkran festival to bolster the sagging tourism sector, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday (Feb 17).

cultureeconomicstourism
By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 18 February 2020, 10:19AM


Revellers exchange water gunshots during the Songkran holiday in Samut Prakan on April 15, 2019. Photo: Somchai Poomlard

Revellers exchange water gunshots during the Songkran holiday in Samut Prakan on April 15, 2019. Photo: Somchai Poomlard

Gen Prayut admitted the nine-day holiday for the Thai New Year celebrations is under consideration but he did not give the timeline for the final call.

“The final decision has not been made yet,” he said.

The Songkran holiday is from April 13-15 every year. This year, it starts Monday through Wednesday. When taking into account Saturday and Sunday preceding them, the holiday is five days long.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak came up with an idea of extending the Songkran period this year to cover Thursday and Friday as well, making it a nine-day holiday (April 11-19). The long period will encourage more people to travel and spend money to give the tourism industry a boost after a sharp drop of tourist numbers from China, he said.

According to his plan, the extra two days are not for free - two public holidays in the second half of the year might be cut to compensate them if the plan is approved.

The Covid-19 epidemic, which started in China in December, is taking its toll on Thai tourism as people avoid travelling around the globe. China has banned tour groups in a bid to contain the virus and the Chinese are Thailand’s largest tourist group.

Gen Prayut said the long holiday would help tourism operators.

Tourism accounts for 20% of gross domestic product and creates 2 million jobs.

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Kurt | 19 February 2020 - 11:41:25

Nine day Songkran plan is of the table ( BP). Good idea. Less travelling during Coronavirus time is better., as the virus time will not be gone 2 months from now. And wait, is shortening it to say 3 days not even better? Less days of 'danger', lesser deaths. And, saving water.

Capricornball | 18 February 2020 - 15:29:59

This is a prime example of just how far out of touch some Thai officials are.  The international community is not going to drop everything and jam over to Thailand because the annual water fight has been extended by 2 days. The people of Thailand deserve better management of tourism which will never be attained by filling those positions with clueless and unqualified people.

 

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