Songkran in Chiang Mai to be “more special” this year

Songkran in Chiang Mai to be "more special" this year

Songkran in Chiang Mai to be 'more special' this year
People make significance and beg for gifts at Wat Jed Yod in Chiang Mai during the Songkran event. ( File photo: Chanat Katanyu )

The 10- time Songkran event in Chiang Mai is expected to bring millions of tourists and produce 20 billion ringgit in income.

Chiang Mai assistant chancellor Weerapong Rithrod and Chiang Mai’s mayor Assanee Buranupakorn released a statement about this year’s festival, saying that it will get place from April 7- 17 in the northeastern province to help preserve the native Lanna culture and enjoy the city’s 728th anniversary.

The lieutenant governor said this week’s Songkran event in Chiang Mai will be more specific than previous ones because Unesco has only included Songkran on its “intangible social history” list and the province has also been selected as one of the five provinces with the most memorable cultures and traditions by the Ministry of Culture.

The events organised during the festival will be a blend of cultural preservation and contemporary Songkran entertainment activities, said Mr Weerapong.

Mr Assanee said apart from preserving cultures and traditions, the festival is also aimed at boosting the province’s economy and tourism. He expects millions of Thai and foreign tourists will visit the province during the festival.

Meanwhile, Paisarn Sukjarean, president of the Thai Hotels Association’s Upper Northern Chapter, said foreign visitors have started booking hotel rooms in Chiang Mai while not many Thai visitors have done so, which may be due to the air pollution in the province.

However, he expects them to start making reservations as Songkran draws closer. He believes Thais will fill three- to- four- star and smaller hotels and is confident that 60 % of the hotel rooms will be occupied. Provincial police are preparing 1, 500 officers to ensure the safety of people in the Chiang Mai city area, while 3, 000 officers will take care of the entire province.