Chinese New Year to bring B10bn tourism boost

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PHUKET: The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), in collaboration with China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Chinese Embassy since 2005, is planning its most festive Chinese New Year celebration ever with HRH Princess Sirindhorn presiding over the opening on Bangkok’s Yaowarat Rd, the TAT announced yesterday (Jan 24).


This year is especially significant, as it marks the 44th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the agency said.

TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said this year was also distinct because it comes after Thailand welcomed 10 million Chinese tourists during 2018 for the first time.

“Happy New Year to all Chinese celebrating the auspicious Year of the Pig. This year’s event holds added significance, as it marks the anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Thailand at a time when Chinese inbound arrivals continue to be the engine that drives Thai tourism.

“The TAT expects to welcome over 330,000 Chinese tourists during the seven-day period (Feb 4-10). They represent more than 30% of the overall total of 1.03 million international arrivals that are expected to visit Thailand over the Chinese New Year,” he added.

According to Mr Yuthasak, Chinese tourists are also expected to spend more than B10 billion of an estimated total revenue of B24bn from international visitors during the week-long period.

The TAT’s Chinese New Year 2019 celebrations are held in destinations popular with young Chinese tourists. Official events are planned in Bangkok at Siam Square (Feb 4-6) and Yaowarat Rd (Feb 5); Chiang Mai at the Maya Lifestyle Shopping Centre (Feb 5-6); and in Phuket at Central Phuket Floresta (Feb 5-6).

All three locations will feature cultural performances from China and Thailand. There will be demonstrations of various Chinese art forms including paper cutting (Jianzhi) and calligraphy, a fair selling goods and auspicious food, plus other activities and additional performances from well-known artists and pop stars.

This year China will send cultural performances from seven provinces. These include acrobats from Shanxi, puppet shows from Fujian, and traditional Chinese dances from Yunnan, Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang and Qiandongnan. From Shandong alone will be Chinese opera shows, traditional dances, acrobats and martial art (Kung Fu) exhibitions.

The TAT is also supporting independent festivities organised by large ethnic Thai-Chinese communities at locations with a long-standing tradition of hosting New Year activities on a grand scale with each event expressing its own uniqueness.

These include but are not limited to: Bangkok’s China Town on Yaowarat Road, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Sawan, Suphan Buri, Ratchaburi, Ayutthaya, Phetchaburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Udon Thani, Trang, Chon Buri, Songkhla (Hat Yai), and Phuket.

In Phuket, immediately after the Chinese New Year festivities will be the 20th Phuket Old Town Festival, held Feb 10-12, featuring the traditional procession through heart of Phuket Old Town as well lantern decorations, cultural performances and a local Phuket food fair.

Courtesy: Published at The Phuket News on January 25, 2019

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