BANGKOK, 4 December 2012: Tourism Authority of Thailand estimates New Year activities at Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong intersection could attract as many as 1 million international tourists and generate Bt2,500 million in revenue.
TAT events department director, Wiwatchai Boonyapak, said: “During the last weekend of this month, 24 to 31 December, over 1 million foreigners will flock to the major venue at Ratchaprasong intersection to celebrate the upcoming year which will circulate Bt2,500 million during the period.”
He gave no details of how he reached that conclusion as there is no method of evaluating the nationality or residency of the thousands of New Year revelers who attend the New Year countdown in Bangkok.
But it justifies, spending and promotional budgets and no one holds the TAT accountable for its statements or revenue evaluations once an event closes.
Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association president Chai Srivikorn said the association has joined with four public and private organisations– TAT, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, Royal Thai Police and VISA to host the “Happiness is all around @ Ratchaprasong” campaign to attract shoppers.
“The campaign will attract more than 16 million tourists both Thais and foreigners to the shopping hub and circulate Bt13 billion in revenue during 21 to 31 December.”
Again critics will say it is an exaggerated claim to hype the event without backing up statements with data that could be independently verified.
He said business at Ratchaprasong has already returned to the peak of 2009, while tourists from the United States and Europe, who are not visiting Thailand, have largely been replaced by visitors from China, India and Russia.
Ratchaprasong is one of 10 locations assigned for New Year countdown celebrations in Bangkok, but it is the most publicised venue due to its high profile shopping malls.
The countdown celebrations, 31 December will include concerts, stage performances, fireworks displays, ahead of the mass countdown to welcome the New Year.
The major commercial venue is Ratchaprasong Intersection where a variety of stage performances by leading Thai artists will be followed by firework displays.
Celebrate the New YearLanna style by releasing lanterns in the sky, as well as watching light and sound performances, cultural shows, and a spectacular fireworks display at the Chaloem Phrakiat Clock Tower in Chiang Rai town centre.
Famous as the home of Suntharaphon, a well-known Thai folk band, Samut Songkhram organises New Year celebrations at the Amphawa floating market featuring the band’s most famous songs. It appeals mainly to domestic tourists who know the band.
Khong Chiam district is the first spot in Thailand to see the sunrise and it is even more spectacular due to its location on the banks of the Mekong River. Apart from the parties there is also a Bai Si traditional ceremony that includes the release of floating lanterns. The parties continue throughout the night and some sturdy revelers will be there at dawn to welcome the first sunrise of the New Year at Pha Chana Dai, in Kong Chiam, the most easterly point in Thailand.For more information visit www.tourismthailand.org or contact TAT call centre 1672.