Bangkok, 1 January 2018 – Millions of Thais and foreign visitors to Thailand ushered in the New Year 2018 via Amazing Thailand Countdown celebrations held simultaneously for the first time in five provinces nationwide.
With colourful fireworks, food festivals, parades and music concerts, revellers in Lampang, Sakon Nakhon, Rayong, Phuket and Kanchanaburi bid farewell to 2017 and welcomed the New Year. All the events were extremely well-managed by the local city, provincial and security authorities, and went off without a hitch.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said: “The celebrations were even more special this year because the Thai tourism industry has just broken another record with a milestone 35 million arrivals. Visitors came in from all over the world, especially our neighbouring countries, to celebrate New Year in Thailand, and we were extremely glad to have lived up to their expectations.”
In the Northern region’s Lampang Province, the Amazing Thailand Countdown 2018 took place at the Clock Tower Intersection, where the city’s famous horse-drawn carriages were brightly and beautifully adorned with lighting decorations.
In the Northeastern region, the Countdown was organised at the Ming Mueang Ground in Sakon Nakhon province under the theme of ‘Cool Isan’. The celebrations included street performances and local food and products including three amazing black animals – chickens, pigs, and cattle – raised at the Phu Pan Royal Project, one of the Royal Initiatives project
In the Eastern region, the Countdown was held at a popular seaside town of Ban Phe, Rayong province. The event was set in a cosy ambiance by the sea, and featured 90’s and EDM live music along with local food by community chefs, DIY activities at several interesting workshops, and a clean-up activity.
In the Southern region, the Countdown was held at the Watch Tower and Standard Chartered Building in Phuket. Phuket’s historic Old Town came alive with brightly decorated Sino-Portuguese buildings and a variety of joyous activities including traditional Peranakan cultural shows and parades, a carnival, concerts and retro market fairs. A clean-up activity was held on the morning of 1 January, 2018.
In the Western Region, the Countdown was held at the historic ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’ in Kanchanaburi province. Among the highlights was a special train crossing over the famous bridge just after the New Year was rung in.
TAT offices nationwide reported significant growth in both foreign and domestic travel to the Countdown provinces as well as surrounding provinces such as Lopburi, Ang Thong, Singburi, Chainat, Ayutthaya, Saraburi, Samut Songkram, Samut Sakorn, Trad, Chachoengsao, Samut Prakarn and Chanthaburi.
Hotel occupancies in Eastern Region, for example, were reported to be 90 per. At U-Tapao Airport, charter flights came in from Russia, as well as 10 private jet flights.
Mr. Yuthasak said: “The Amazing Thailand Countdown 2018 celebrations were carefully designed to reflect TAT’s latest marketing concept of ‘Open to the New Shades’ and the action-packed Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018.
“The Countdown stressed on five unique activities: Discovering new attractions or experiences, exploring a variety of local and international dishes, shopping for locally-made products, sharing wonderful experiences with family and friends, and helping local communities to thrive through sustainable tourism.
The Governor added, “This is a perfect way to begin the year 2018, as Thailand enters a new era of sustainable tourism.”