panorama destination

panorama destination

Ready to Make a Splash: Thailand Prepares for Big Songkran Celebrations
01 April 2023 | Written by Chris Alexander

Tourism recovery in Thailand has been faster than expected in recent months, giving reason for celebration to many in the sector. In April, the annual Songkran festivals offer the perfect excuse for a party – and operators nationwide are expected to pull out all the stops. For visitors to the Land of Smiles this month, it promises to be a wet and wild adventure.

Songkran is the Thai New Year holiday, celebrated on 13-15 April each year with large-scale water fights and street parties – some of the most iconic events in the festival calendar. The tradition goes back hundreds of years, as part of a nationwide cleansing ritual designed to wash away the old and refresh the Kingdom ahead of a New Year.

During the old pandemic era, Songkran was a useful barometer of where government restrictions were at; the festival was cancelled in some years, and carefully controlled in others. Now, with restrictions lifted and tourism fully back in business, the Kingdom is looking forward to hosting a festival to remember.

“Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha has set up guidelines to promote tourism,” said government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri in a recent statement. “We are confident that the government’s tourism stimulus measures will help boost Thailand’s tourism,” he added. The government is putting extra resources into promoting this year’s celebrations, and is even planning to waive fees on motorway toll roads to encourage attendance.

Part of the “Rao Tiew Duay Kan” (“We Travel Together”) scheme to stimulate domestic tourism, created by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), official Songkran events will be hosted in five provinces nationwide. Many more informal celebrations will be held in towns and villages all over the country.

The government is forecasting a major uptick in tourism this month, as around 17-20 million are expected to travel around the country for the Songkran celebrations. To ensure their safety, Deputy Government Spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek has urged foreign visitors to install the I Lert U mobile application.