Updated: Thai Government Considering 9-day Songkran in 2020

The Thai government is currently considering extending Songkran to 9 days in 2020 to make up for a shortfall in tourism due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

If approved, Songkran–Thailand’s wild and wet new year festival–would run from April 11-19.

Thailand’s tourism industry has taken a massive hit during 2020 since most Chinese tourists have been either reluctant or unable to leave the country due to fears of the highly contagious Coronavirus spreading.

The tourism industry accounts for 18% of Thailand’s GDP.

Around 11 million Chinese tourists flocked to Thailand in 2019–making it the largest source of tourists traveling to the Kingdom.

That number is expected to go down drastically this year.

Government officials are looking for ways to make up for that shortage of Chinese tourists visiting Thailand in 2020.

The Thai government argues that a 9-day Songkran would lead to a boost to the struggling tourism industry by encouraging Thais to travel for a longer period of time and spend more during the holiday.

If Songkran is extended, the government is contemplating removing two public holidays from later in the year.

Read the full story here.

*PM Prayut Chan-o-cha announced today that this year’s Songkran will not be extended to a 9-day holiday.

Related: No Law on the Books to Prevent Thai Businesses from Discriminating Against Chinese

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