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Thailand’s Travel Agents Say High Airfares May Hinder Songkran 2024 Holiday

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Songkran 2024

Travel agents in Thailand have raised concerns over high airfares and concerns about deflation risk of flights during Songkran 2024 despite the extra day added to this years water festival. The Thai Government has promoted Songkran 2024 as a month long festival.

This holiday is no longer a high season for trips as it was before the pandemic,” said Kriangphon Piyaekchai, the Thai Travel Agents Association’s vice president.

Given the high airfares while the aviation industry recovers, only those with a lot of money can afford to go during Songkran, with the rest opting for internal excursions or waiting till the airfares drop, according to Mr Kriangphon.

During the Songkran holiday, a five-day tour package to Japan costs 40,000 baht, up from roughly 30,000 baht prior to the outbreak.

He added that many Thai tourists were concerned about potential deflation, which would reduce their tourism expenditures.

Furthermore, Mr Kriangphon stated that there are less charter flights available during the Songkran break to meet outbound demand, as opposed to before 2019, when tour companies were eager to increase charter flights.

Songkran Splash 2023

Though the government just extended the Songkran holiday to five days, he believes this action will not promote outbound tourism because most travellers scheduled their travels months ago.

According to Mr Kriangphon, the majority of available outbound travel packages to Japan and South Korea have already been purchased, while bookings for Vietnam and China are filling up. Thais like areas with greenery and cool weather, such as Sapa in Vietnam, Zhangjiajie, and Nanchang in China, he said.

Mr Kriangphon believes China vacation packages will benefit from the mutual visa exemption, which will allow Thai tourists to enter the mainland without a visa beginning March 1.

Chaiyapruk Thongkam, head of the Association of Domestic Travel, predicts that 65% of Thai tourists will travel domestically during Songkran, with half visiting their hometowns.

Mr Chaiyapruk stated that domestic tourists may extend their vacations to 5-6 days rather than the normal 3-4 days, which will boost second-tier destinations. Despite extended stays, local tourists may not spend much money, he noted.

Tourism and Sports Minister Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol announced Tuesday that the ministry will request a 100-million-baht budget to hold the Maha Songkran World Water Festival 2024 in Bangkok and upcountry from April 11 to 15.

Mr Chaiyapruk stated that this event may not draw as many domestic tourists as foreigners.

He argued that the government should instead focus on establishing attractions to help sustain tourism in the long run, such as resolving the PM2.5 crisis in the North and Northeast, which inhibits upcountry travel.

Mr Chaiyapruk suggested that the authorities consider assisting tour operators, particularly those who have yet to recover from the pandemic.

Top 10 Fun Things to Do in Chiang Rai During Songkran

Songkran is a traditional Thai New Year holiday that takes place each year from April 13th to 15th. It is one of Thailand’s most important festivals, celebrated with a variety of activities such as religious ceremonies, family gatherings, and boisterous water battles.

The water festival is the most recognisable feature of the Songkran holiday, in which people splash water on each other to symbolise wiping away the misfortunes of the previous year and welcome the new year with a fresh start. Water throwing is not only a fun game, but it also helps people stay cool during Thailand’s scorching summer season.

In addition to the water activities, the festival is a time to honour elders and visit temples to offer merit. Many Thais partake in traditional rituals such as pouring water over Buddha statues and monks’ hands to symbolise cleansing and purification.

During Songkran, Thailand’s biggest cities, such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai, become crowded with locals and tourists alike, all enjoying the joyful atmosphere. People are out on the streets, armed with water pistols, buckets, and hoses, ready to engage in friendly water fights. There are also cultural events, parades, and food stalls serving great Thai cuisine.

Overall, Songkran is a pleasant festival where people gather to greet the new year with laughing, water, and friendliness. It is a moment to reflect on the past, enjoy the present, and anticipate the future with hope and excitement.


Thailand’s Songkran Festival Gets Formal UNESCO Certification

Thailand’s Songkran Festival Gets Formal UNESCO Certification

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