The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expects to see 13.5 billion THB in revenue from domestic tourism during the Songkran holidays (April 13-16), up 22% from 11 billion THB last year.  However, it is far less optimistic about foreign arrivals over the traditional New Year.

The TAT estimates Thais will make up to 3.8 million trips to domestic attractions this Songkran, a rise of 14% from the 3.34 million trips made last year.  “If this estimate is met, it would mean domestic tourism has recovered and already surpassed the level before the Covid-19 outbreak,” said TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

Pre-Covid revenue from domestic tourism over Songkran in 2019 was recorded at 11.64 billion THB.  He added that the occupancy rate of hotels nationwide currently averages 74%, with those in the Northeast enjoying the highest average at over 80%.

The TAT attributed the jump in hotel occupancy to the fifth phase of its “Rao Tiew Duay Kan” (We Travel Together) scheme to stimulate domestic tourism.  The scheme offers a discount of up to 40% on accommodation and plane tickets, plus 600-baht daily coupons that can be used at participating shops.

TAT also forecast 305,000 foreign tourists will arrive in Thailand between April 12 and 16, up 525% from the 48,814 who visited last year amid travel restrictions.  However, the estimate is little more than half (58%) of the 522,357 foreign tourists who visited during Songkran in 2019.

The tourism agency expects foreign tourists to generate revenue of 5.03 billion THB during the Songkran festival, or about 60% of the 8.32 billion THB recorded in 2019.  That would see total tourism revenue at this year’s Songkran festival of 18.8 billion THB, compared with 19.96 billion in 2019.