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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Songkran Success Boosts Thai Tourism

This year, Thailand’s iconic Songkran Festival 2024 was extended nationwide from 1 to 21 April following UNESCO’s recent recognition of it as an ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’.

UNESCO’s recognition highlights Songkran’s profound significance, emphasizing its role in fostering community cooperation, family bonds, and the spirit of forgiveness. As stated on UNESCO’s website, Songkran symbolizes a time-honoured tradition for cleansing away misfortunes, praying for prosperity, and honouring ancestors—embodying Thailand’s cultural resilience and heritage.

This journey from the ancient water festival to UNESCO cultural heritage recognition is a testament to the enduring strength of Thai traditions and to Thailand’s growing global ‘soft power’.

Traveloka fully supported the Songkran Festival extension, understanding its pivotal role as a driving force behind Thailand’s thriving tourism scene. This iconic celebration adds excitement and amplifies the Kingdom’s reputation as a must-visit destination in Asia, promising travellers unforgettable, immersive cultural adventures.

Chiang Mai - Known for its vibrant parades, traditional rituals, and local celebrations. - from TQ PR
Chiang Mai is known for its vibrant parades, traditional rituals, and local celebrations.

As this year’s festival unfolded, cities around Thailand were transformed as Songkran in modern times is primarily about colossal fun. Serving as a vibrant testament to Thailand’s cultural allure, Songkran has played a pivotal role in positioning the country as a top-notch destination for travellers worldwide. Ament to Thailand’s Songkran has helped promote Thailand as a cultural destination for travellers worldwide. Its global appeal transcends national borders, attracting international visitors from around the globe who gather for the event.

The 21-day extravaganza celebrating the Thai New Year was an economic juggernaut, creating employment in vital sectors, including hospitality, transportation, retail, and entertainment.

The Economic, Tourism, and Sports Division said this year, the extended Songkran festival generated 140.335 billion baht over the 21 days from April 1-21, surpassing pre-event estimates. This was distributed across various travel segments, including accommodation (42.069 billion baht), food and beverage (33.069 billion baht), souvenirs (26.839 billion baht), travel (15.505 billion baht), entertainment (14,758 billion baht), tourism services (5,865 million baht), and others (2,230 million baht).

According to Traveloka, domestic search traffic spiked from April 8 – 21 by over 60% compared to the same period in March. Additionally, it shared the top its five domestic destinations during Songkran 2024 to gauge the travel platform’s economic and social contribution to Thailand’s travel industry:

Bangkok - A hub of electrifying street parties and cultural experiences. FROM TQ PR
Bangkok – A hub of electrifying street parties and cultural experiences.

This year, travellers were drawn by the allure of vibrant street parties, captivating parades, and an electrifying atmosphere that illustrates the rich cultural contribution of Thai soft power. The Tourism Authority of Thailand revealed the major success of ‘Maha Songkran World Water Festival 2024’. Over 780,000 people attended, generating more than 2,880 million baht from 11–15 April. Travellers experienced festive activities, including fantastic parades, EDM concerts, Thailand’s tallest dancing fountain show, and stunning performances by over 1,200 drones in choreographed patterns.

The Songkran Festival’s economic, global, and social impacts in 2024 were multifaceted and far-reaching, showcasing its significance as both a cultural celebration and a catalyst for tourism, cultural exchange, community cohesion, and social development in Thailand.

Traveloka leveraged the reach and influence of its platform to spotlight the Songkran Festival as the cornerstone of Thailand’s annual tourism calendar.  It will continue to seek to capture the imagination of travellers worldwide and inspire them to participate in future Thai events through engaging content, immersive experiences, and strategic promotions. All are invited to explore Traveloka’s portfolio of rich cultural experiences for upcoming festivals around Thailand for 2024 and beyond.







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