Music Festivals Attract More Visitors to Thailand
Music festivals may become a new driver for Thailand’s tourism industry, according to a recent report by CNBC. The Land of Smiles has played host to an array of world-class acts over the past several years, both at festivals and one-off concerts.
A variety of new festivals have been established in recent years, attracting locals and overseas visitors, as organisers tap into the increasing demand for live music.
Wonderfruit and Arcadia were launched in 2014, closely followed by Maya Music Festival the following year. This year will see the launch of three new events, including the Mystic Valley Festival, Transmission in March and Paradise Island in April. Each festival caters to different tastes but mainly focuses on electronic dance music (EDM) genres.
“In Thailand, the market for electronic music – which isn’t difficult to digest and is easy to become educated about – is growing the fastest,” says Pranitan Phornprapha, founder of Wonderfruit. “There is room for lots of content.”
The four-day Wonderfruit festival, which took place from 16th – 19th February, offers festivalgoers a wide selection of art, music and food. The event is also based on promoting the principles of an eco-friendly life, combining fun activities with ways for visitors to support social changes that are moving towards a more sustainable way of living. Based at Pattaya’s Siam Country Club, there was also an impressive selection of art installations for visitors to enjoy, as well as a plethora of delicious food outlets.
“We definitely believe that this is a market segment that the government should look into,” says a spokesperson from the Mystic Valley team. “Not only is it bringing overnight travellers into the country, generating income, and potentially increasing international and domestic flight traffic, it will improve national infrastructure to cater to tourism traffic in the long run.”
While Thai visitors still comprise the bulk of attendees at the country’s many music festivals, approximately 40 percent of guests at Wonderfruit festival each year are international visitors. The team at Mystic Valley predicts that approximately 30 percent of visitors to its festival will be from overseas. In the long term, as the number of foreign visitors making their way to Thailand’s music festivals increases, so Thailand will be able to add concerts to its growing list of attractions.
“People are now selecting music festivals to attend based on their overall travel experience,” says Priya Dewan, the founder of Life Asia – a start-up business that organises travel packages to Wonderfruit for visitors from in Singapore. “Thailand is a country with a vibrant and rich culture, so that’s a big factor as to why festivals there are appealing to international audiences.”
At present, the majority of these events take place in Thailand’s holiday hotspots so organisers can take advantage of the steady flow of visitors. The money spent as they travel around the country before and after the festival is therefore also a major consideration for Thailand’s travel related businesses.