The main stage of the Naga International Music Festival in Krabi, Thailand on February 28, 2020. (Photo: People's Daily)
Krabi (People’s Daily) – Thailand’s annual Krabi International Music Festival kicked off on Friday and will run through the weekend. The event is expected to revitalize the country’s tourism industry, which has taken a massive hit amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said it wants the world to experience Krabi Province, and this year’s music festival would be an ideal opportunity to explore the country’s southern region.
A local jazz ensemble performs at Naga Festival in Krabi, Thailand on February 28, 2020. (Photo: People's Daily)
TAT’s Director of International Public Relations Sadudee Sangnil told People’s Daily that this year’s event is aimed at promoting the beaches of southern Thailand.
“Not only Phuket, we also have Krabi, in which you can enjoy peace and the beaches. We hope to brring the tourists back, especially Chinese and Asian travelers after the COVID-19 outbreak ends,” said Sangnil.
Now in the sixth consecutive year, Naga Fest 2020 is even bigger than the five previous events.
Located along the beaches of the Khlong Muang, year’s festival is free to the public.
People pose for a selfie at Naga Festival in Krabi, Thailand on February 28, 2020. (Photo: People's Daily).
Krabi officials said the event is expected to attract at least 70,000 visitors, including 5,000 foreigners and 65,000 domestic travelers. The festival is also expected to generate $1.5 million in revenue.
“Last year, 500,000 Chinese tourists visited the country. For 2020, we have received very few Chinese or Asian tourists,” said one official.
A festival employee gives a bar of soap to a vistor at Naga Festival in Krabi, Thailand on February 28, 2020. (Photo: People's Daily)
Thailand Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn told People’s Daily the COVID-19 outbreak has hit the country’s tourism industry hard but remains optimistic that it will recover.
“After COVID-19, we will be ready to give a warm welcome to Chinese visitors and let us make it a date,” said Ratchakitprakarn.
Naga is a figure from Buddhist mythology who was half-cobra and half-human and believed to be the guardian of the Mekong Delta.
An employee at Naga Festival checks the body temperature of a female guest in Krabi, Thailand on February 28, 2020. (Photo: People's Daily)