While Pattaya draws thousands to the city to celebrate Songkran, usually a large number of Thais leave town to visit relatives, making the city’s main bus terminal the busiest place in town.
This year, however, not only is the tourist trade been slower, but so has the exodus.
This year’s Songkran travel has been quieter than years past.
Orasa Duangdara, manager of the Rungruan Bus Terminal in North Pattaya, said April 16 that ticket sales increased only 10-20 percent during the official April 13-15 Thai New Year compared with last year.
She speculated the downturn was related to the continuing political strife in the country.
Driver Worapong Chairit, 42, said this year was quieter than any of the seven years he’s been driving for Rungruan.
He always works during Songkran, he said, and said he expected all the days of the festival to be slower this year.