500,000 foreign tourists to join Thailand's Songkran festival

April 9, 2015 12:59 pm 

BANGKOK, April 8 — An estimated 500,000 tourists from overseas are expected to visit Thailand during Songkran festival next week.

Those foreigners will eagerly join the annual Songkran festival everywhere throughout the country during which people will pour water onto one another as a traditional gesture of showing mutual respect, said Tourism & Sports Ministry spokesman Charnvit Polchivin on Wednesday.

In particular, Thai people are accustomed to pouring water onto the palms of their elderly relatives to show respect during the yearly festival.

Besides, April 13 which marks the Seniors' Day in Thailand is viewed as the highlighted date for the water-pouring festival which takes place annually at the height of tropically hot season.

Thais could spend three consecutive days joining the spree at various venues throughout the country.

Meanwhile, about 7.8 million tourists from abroad have visited Thailand during the first quarter of this year, according to the Tourism & Sports Ministry spokesman.

That accounted for a 23 percent rise from the same period last year.

Most of those visitors came from China, followed by those from Malaysia, South Korea, Russia and Japan, he said.

An estimated 29 million foreigners are expected to visit Thailand throughout this year, he added.

A dozen provinces have launched the program "tourist spots which must not be missed out," including Lampang, Petchaboon and Nan in the North, Loei and Buriram in the Northeast, Ratchaburi and Samut Songkram in the Central Region, Chantaburi and Trat in the East and Chumporn, Nakorn Sri Thammarat and Trang in the South.

Among world-renowned, best-selling tourist spots in Thailand are Pattaya, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Koh Samui, besides the capital city. (PNA/Xinhua)

JBP/EDS

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