Sapporo, 08 February, 2018 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to announce its ongoing support for a team of Thai ice sculptors to join the 45th International Snow Sculpture Contest 2018, held during 4-8 February as part of the 69th Sapporo Snow Festival.
This mark the 21st year of Thailand’s participation in one of Japan’s most popular winter events, visited by over 2 million Japanese and international tourists.
The Sapporo Snow Festival was started in 1950, when high school students built a few snow statues in Odori Park. It has since developed into a large event featuring spectacular snow and ice sculptures.
The main site is the Odori Site in Sapporo’s centrally located 1.5 kilometre-long Odori Park. The Festival’s famous large snow sculptures, some measuring more than 25 metres wide and 15 metres high, are exhibited there. They are lit up daily until 22:00 Hrs.
Besides about a dozen large snow sculptures, the Odori Site exhibits more than 100 smaller snow statues and hosts several concerts and events, many of which use the sculptures as their stage.
One highlight of the Sapporo Snow Festival is the International Snow Sculpture Contest, first held in 1974. TAT has supported the participation of a Thai ice carving team since 1991. The Thai team won the contest four times in 2000, 2008-2010; the first country to have won it for three consecutive years.
This year’s team includes: Mr. Kusol Bunkobsongserm from the Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok, Mr. Amnoaysak Srisuk, from the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel and Mr. Kritsana Wongtes, an independent sculptor. They have competed against teams from Australia, Daejeon Metropolitan City (South Korea), Finland, Hawaii (USA), Indonesia, Macao SAR, Poland, Portland (USA), China, Singapore and USA.
In this year’s competition, the Thai team presented a sculpture of ‘Kai Chon’ – Thailand’s traditional cockfight, a popular sport in the local communities for hundreds of years along with “Muay Thai”.
This year’s participation fits in with TAT’s new marketing concept, “Open to the New Shades” in Japan to attract more Japanese travellers to Thailand by highlighting unique elements of Thai culture.
Japan is one of Thailand’s top markets, contributing 1.54 million tourists in 2017, generating an estimated 67.5 billion Baht in tourism income.