Thailand has backed away from a proposed ban on alcohol during the country’s spirited Songkran festivals, set to take place April 13-15. Songkran is the Thai equivalent to New Year’s festivities and typically draws over 80,000 foreign tourists. Thailand can’t afford to lose a single tourist during these challenging economic times, which are even more challenging for the Land of Smiles due to last year’s civil unrest (in August, November and December) which impacted travelers.
It was Thailand’s Health Ministry that originally proposed the ban. Thailand’s Deputy Public Health Minister Manit Nopamornbode said the ministry would not be discouraged by the committee's resolution. The ministry will continue to push for a ban on alcohol consumption in public areas during the festival.
Meanwhile, in a mixed message from Thailand, during Songkran tourists will be free to order up a Siam Sunray, a national cocktail recently conjured up by Thailand to spice up its tourism profile.