270,000 Chinese in Thailand during festival

Updated: 2013-02-11 13:50


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BANGKOK -- An estimated 270,000 tourists from China were speculated to celebrate Chinese New Year in Thailand, according to Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Surapon Svetasreni.

The Chinese tourists were known to have intended to come to Thailand to join in the celebrations of the Chinese New Year and stay for several days or until the coming weekend, said the TAT chief.

Most were expected to visit Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Nakorn Sawan and other provinces where a large number of people of Chinese origin reside or frequent. Activities involving the celebrations of the Chinese New Year, marked by dragon and lion dance processions, firework shows and paying homage to Chinese shrines, have been especially organized for the annual occasion.

That speculated number of the Chinese tourists coming to Thailand during the festive season will account for nearly 10 percent of all Chinese expected to visit the country throughout this year, according to Surapon.

No less than 10 billion baht ($333 million) in foreign currencies was expected to be circulated by the foreign visitors during the weeklong Chinese New Year season, which, in some of the tourist destinations, has been extended until the end of this week. Most were known to stay for a four- to six-days time and spend an average of 4,500 baht ($150) per day.

Thailand's Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visited Yaovaraj China Town in Bangkok to join the Chinese New Year celebrations on Sunday while Lady Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra delivered an address on state TV and radio to express her best wishes for the Chinese on Saturday.