Bangkok, 16 February, 2018 – Thailand’s biggest Chinese New Year celebrations officially opened today in Bangkok’s Chinatown on Yaowarat Road, with cultural displays and fun performances, but festivities are also taking place up and down the Kingdom between 13-23 February including in 13 locations supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn today graciously presided over the official opening ceremony of the Yaowarat Chinese New Year 2018, that was marked with special Thailand-China cultural exchange performances and culinary delights presented by the governments of the People’s Republic of China and the Kingdom of Thailand.
The grand event marks the highlight of the annual nationwide Chinese New Year celebrations that TAT has been organising annually for 14 consecutive years in collaboration with long-standing partners, the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Kingdom of Thailand.
This year also marks the 43rd anniversary of diplomatic ties between the People’s Republic of China and the Kingdom of Thailand.
In celebration of these auspicious occasions, the Chinese Ministry of Culture has prepared special cultural shows from nine famous troupes and 135 performers as part of the wishes for the New Year of the Dog for the people of Thailand. In addition, 18 top Chinese chefs from the World Federation of the Chinese Catering Industry are on hand to create Southern Chinese delicacies to delight local and international revellers.
The cultural and culinary shows are scheduled to take place on 16-23 February at different locations:
- Bangkok – a special dance performance from Zhejiang on the grand opening ceremony on 16 February, followed by special shows in Yaowarat and other locations in Bangkok on 16-18 February including Kungfu and acrobatic performances from Hunan, dance performances from Zhejiang and Hubei, and folk musical performances from Shanxi.
- Chiang Mai – Chinese opera puppet shows from Fujian and dance performances from Hainan on 16-18 February.
- Songkhla (Hat Yai) – dance performances from Inner Mongolia 16-18 February.
- Udon Thani – acrobatic performances from Shandong and dance performances from Heilongjiang on 16-18 February.
- Nakhon Sawan – cooking demonstrations by some of the 18 Chinese chefs from the World Federation of the Chinese Catering Industry on 17-19 February.
- Phuket – acrobatic performances from Shandong and dance performances from Inner Mongolia on 20-23 February.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “The cultural and culinary performances from China have helped light up the Chinese New Year celebrations in Thailand and inspire inter-cultural understanding. In return, TAT has arranged cultural tour programmes for the Chinese performers in Chon Buri and for the Chinese chefs in Bangkok to promote Thailand and our cultural heritage through their experiences.”
He added that the collaboration in organising the Chinese New Year celebrations in Thailand annually for already 14 consecutive years has helped strengthen the diplomatic relations between the two nations while the many great activities in different locations across the Kingdom have helped encourage visitors to stay longer, thus resulting in more tourism spending and helping to boost the economy.
TAT estimates that the 2018 Chinese New Year celebrations, from 13-23 February, will help generate 20.63 billion Baht for the Thai economy through an array of tourist activities, including from the travel and related expenses to paying homage to revered Buddhist images for blessings at destinations across Thailand.
During the 10-day period, TAT expects Thailand to welcome about 870,000 international visitor arrivals and generate approximately 20.63 billion Baht in tourism revenue, representing a year-on-year increase of 5.45 per cent and 11.81 per cent, respectively. Of the total, from China alone, TAT expects to welcome 290,000 visitors, up 13.66 per cent year-on-year, generating 8.13 billion Baht in revenue (up 24.60 per cent).
In 2016, Thailand recorded 8.77 million travellers from China, generating 456.2 billion Baht for the Thai economy. During the year, Chinese travellers’ average daily expenditure was 6,306 Baht with an average length of stay of 8.24 days. The ratio of free independent travellers (FITs) per group tour was 61:39, and of first-time travellers and revisits was 55:45. Thailand recorded 9.8 million visitors from China in 2017.
Photo gallery of some of the Thailand-China cultural exchange performances at the official opening ceremony of the Yaowarat Chinese New Year 2018 on 16 February.