Organizers have confirmed that this year’s New Year celebrations will go ahead as planned despite the continuation of political demonstrations in the capital.
The countdown festivities at Central World has over the years become a major touristy draw attracting over 20 million visitors during the period and generating over 18 billion baht in revenue.
Leading event organizer Index Creative Village has said that the company's events, including New Year countdown parties at Central World and in Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Hat Yai and Chiang Mai, will not be disrupted by political conflicts in the country.
Other organizers have said that a number of concerts and fairs planned for this month have been delayed to next year as concerns about safety persist. Many concerts from Thai Ticket Major, such as the BoydKo Family Christmas Together, Big Mountain Music Festival and Overcoat Music Festival, are still scheduled to take place as long as protests remain in limited areas without violence. The Red Bull Singha Race of Champions 2013, originally scheduled for the Rajamangala National Stadium from December 14-15, has recently been cancelled however.
In addition to the main countdown event at Ratchaprasong intersection, the Tourism Authority of Thailand will lend its support to host the “Amazing Thailand Countdown 2014” in seven major tourist destinations, such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Songkhla and Phuket, from December 25 to January 1, 2014.
The “New Year Celebration Prayers – A Traditional Thai Buddhist Ritual” will also be organized on December 31 to give locals and visitors the chance to make merit on New Year’s Eve at the Temple of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University in Ayutthaya. Visitors can partake in reciting the ancient prayers that mark the passing of the year.
Meanwhile, authorities are cracking down on overpriced gift baskets and out-of-date goods sold during the festive period. The Department of Internal Trade (DIT) is stepping up inspections of New Year’s gift baskets in order to ensure fairness for consumers. The inspection began early this month and will be concluded by the end of the New Year festival.