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Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival expected to draw in 350 million baht

Caitlin Ashworth

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WARNING: Graphic photos and video below.

After months and months of an economic slowdown induced by the coronavirus pandemic and the lack of tourists, thousands of people are expected to arrive to Phuket over the next 2 weeks to take part in the annual Vegetarian Festival. It’s expected to generate more than 350 million baht, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

The festival, scheduled to run from Saturday until October 25, is more known for the street processions involving self-mutilation than it is for the vegetarian food. Crowds of people line the streets, watching so-called “mah songs” walk by. The mah songs often practice self-mutilation to enter a trance-like state and channel spirits during the event.

“We expect 60,000 tourists and local people to join the festival. Most of the tourists will come from nearby provinces, up to about 300 kilometres from Phuket.”

The expected revenue isn’t as high as it’s been in the past, but Yuthasak says it will still help stimulate tourism and the local economy. He says 54 of the 200 hotels open in Phuket report about 20% of their rooms are booked for weekdays.

“We expect the festival to generate more than 350 million baht. Even though the number cannot be as high as past years, in a situation like this, it will help to stimulate tourism and the economy well.”

Those at the festival will also need to abide by “new normal” rules to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Along with typical measures, like wearing a mask and social distancing, mah songs have been asked by the mayor to “limit the level of torturing.”

Phuket's annual Vegetarian Festival expected to draw in 350 million baht | News by Thaiger Phuket's annual Vegetarian Festival expected to draw in 350 million baht | News by Thaiger Phuket's annual Vegetarian Festival expected to draw in 350 million baht | News by Thaiger Phuket's annual Vegetarian Festival expected to draw in 350 million baht | News by Thaiger Phuket's annual Vegetarian Festival expected to draw in 350 million baht | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: Phuket News

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    2 Comments

    2 Comments

    1. Avatar

      Jitendra Bahubali

      Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 5:13 pm

      All borders closed Because the fools and idiots responsible for attracting tourist are the ones repelling them. I am talking about Thailand specifically. Look at the statements of the clowns every day. Just a big ridiculous joke everyday suggesting something like 14 day quarantine but can go out of the hotel but cannot be near to the Thai public and one officer with them always on the special roads only for tourists. They just vomit ? everyday all the pathetic thoughts they have at night while drinking.

    2. Avatar

      albertone

      Friday, October 16, 2020 at 1:46 pm

      350 million baht ???? the ghosts of Vegetarian festival already took possession of some clever mind …

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    Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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