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14 Jul 2011


Candle Festival, 2011: Bolstering Ubon Ratchathani Tourism (Business Brief No.3140)

The Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival – an annual procession of ornately carved candles held yearly on the Buddhist Lent Day – is well known to Thai and international tourists.During this festival, numerous other activities held via cooperation between public and private sector agencies at the national and local levels have been organized throughout July. One of the most significant events is the Candle Casting Ceremony to celebrate His Majesty the King's 84th birthday. It is expected that many tourists will visit Ubon Ratchathani throughout the month.
KResearch expects that activities related to Buddhist Lent merit-making, including special highlights on wax crafting for candle processions, will help draw Thai and international visitors to Ubon Ratchathani during the four-day long Asarnha Bucha and Buddhist Lent holiday.
The number of tourists visiting Ubon Ratchathani in July will probably reach around 140,000, helping to generate about THB360 million in earnings to local travel-related businesses. Of that total, at least 60 percent, equivalent to THB230 million, is likely being spent on souvenirs, food, beverages and accommodation, while 40 percent, representing about THB130 million, is being spent on travel and entertainment (sports and spa services), plus guided tours.
If all goes well, KResearch expects that tourism in Ubon Ratchathani will continue to thrive this year, thanks to cooperation between relevant public and private sector agencies, as well as local residents in promoting tourism activities there. In addition, more pro-active tourism strategies have been devised for this province, focusing on eco-spiritual tourism, historical sites, temples and important festivals. The province also boasts many tourist attractions, including Pha Chana Dai in Pha Taem National Park, Kaeng Tana National Park and Chong Mek (Thai-Lao border pass). Low-cost flights operating daily to Ubon should now make it more convenient for tourists to travel there.

KResearch expects that the total number of tourists visiting Ubon Ratchathani in 2011 will reach about 1.86 million, up 6 percent YoY, helping to generate some THB4.7 billion, rising 9 percent YoY in tourism revenue for the province.