PHUKET: Director Chanchai Doungjit of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket office expects this year’s Vegetarian Festival to generate about 600 million baht in revenue for the local economy.
“Many Thais, including those of Chinese origin, will visit the festival and many are likely to travel as family groups as the festival falls within the school holidays,” Director Chanchai told a meeting at the Lor Rong Shrine, in Phuket Town, yesterday.
The meeting, chaired by Phuket Vice Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada and attended by provincial officials and members of the Phuket Shrine Association, was held to discuss activities planned for the festival, from October 15 to 23.
Director Chanchai also expects to see an increase in tourists from Australia, the Middle East and India, but sees the largest increase coming from the Asian region.
“Our main foreign target group remains tourists from Singapore, China and Malaysia –even more so, now that we have signed ‘Sister City’ agreements with many cities in China. I believe that there will be more Chinese tourists visiting us this year,” he added.
“Hotel occupancy is now at 80 per cent, but during the festival we expect hotels along the procession route to have 95 per cent occupancy. Beach hotels are currently 90 per cent full and that is likely to rise before the festival,” Director Chanchai said.
One of the main events organized for this year is a procession to honor HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej and HM Queen Sirikit.
After the procession, a candle-lighting ceremony will be performed to honor Their Majesties at the center stage area at 5pm.
A comprehensive guide to Vegetarian Festival activities across the island, detailing events, times and places, can be found at PhuketVegetarian.com
— Orawin Narabal
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