BANGKOK: Thailand’s Cabinet today approved an allocation of 104 million baht (RM13.8 million) to promote the “Maha Songkran World Water Festival” from April 11 to 15 this year.

Deputy Government Spokesperson, Kenika Oonjit said the festival, hosted by the Tourism and Sports Ministry, will be held in Bangkok and 16 other provinces, including Chiang Mai, Phuket, Sukhothai, and Nakhon Si Thammarat.

“The festival is expected to attract more than 200,000 tourists to Thailand and generate about 3.1 billion baht,“ she said at a press conference in Bangkok today.

Kenika said the “Maha Songkran World Water Festival” will showcase Songkran celebrations from various regions within the kingdom, aiming to preserve and promote the time-honoured traditions.

“The government hopes the festival will push Thailand into the top 10 nations with the best cultural festivals in the world,” she said.

On Dec 6 last year, Songkran was added to UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Songkran is often marked by family reunions, as well as paying respects to elders, ancestors and sacred Buddha images.

Last week, the Cabinet approved an additional public holiday on April 12 to create a five-day break for this year’s Songkran festival, with the aim of stimulating tourism and private consumption. -Bernama

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