Should Thailand cancel Songkran festivities? Not Songkran itself, just the festivities.
Currently, many Thais are gripped by fear over COVID-19. In our Twitter poll, which ran yesterday, 66% of the respondents take the outbreak very seriously, while the other 34% are not too concerned.
To panic or not to panic. Thailand is divided over Covid-19.— Thisrupt (@Thisruptdotco) March 2, 2020
How scared should we be? #หน้ากากอนามัย
Already, many events and concerts in Bangkok have been cancelled.
In 2019, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expected 2.3 million Thais and foreigners to enjoy the festivities of music, dancing and a lot of water splashing, generating a revenue of around THB20 billion for the tourism and other related sectors.
Yesterday, Thailand-based veteran travel blogger Richard Barrow posed the question on Twitter:
It’s too early to say if Songkran will be cancelled. But I won’t be surprised that any event organized during the festival, that is expecting more than say 1,000 people, will be cancelled. In fact, there are no guarantees about any event for at least two months #Thailand #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/y8EyuSPqVP— Richard Barrow in Thailand 🇹🇭 🇬🇧 (@RichardBarrow) March 2, 2020
In 2020, with the economy performing poorly, there were talks last month of extending the holiday so that the people can spend more money. However, the idea was quickly shelved by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha.
Now the question is, how wet- or dry -will this coming Songkran be?