Chinese New Year travel in Thailand up from last year hinh anh 1Thailand is targeting 40.6 million foreign visitors this year (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Songkla (NNT/VNA) –
Chinese New Year celebrations took place nationwide in Thailand on February 4.

In Hat Yai Municipality in Songkla province, Thais of Chinese descent spent much of the day lighting incense to pray to deities and their ancestors while also setting off firecrackers and burning effigies to ensure merit for themselves and their families. Many gathered as families to mark the holiday.

At the Thai-Chinese community along Ruammitr road in Yala province, tables full of offerings including traditional meals and fruits lined the street. Imitations of valuable goods were also burnt as an offering to ancestors.

In front of Pung Tao Kong Nan Shrine in Nan province, people of Chinese heritage wearing red clothing gathered to pray. The shrine has stood for Thais of Chinese heritage for 113 years and received an award for excellence in 2010.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn expects 1.03 million Thais to have traveled to family reunions during the Chinese New Year period between February 4 and 10, up 8 percent from last year and generating 24 billion THB in revenue for the nation, an increase of 11.5 percent compared to the year before.

Meanwhile, Thailand is targeting 40.6 million foreign visitors and 2.2 trillion THB in tourism revenue this year, an increase of about 10 percent from last year. A similar increase is expected among domestic tourists with 178 million people likely to travel this year, spending 1.2 trillion THB.-NNT/VNA