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Thailand`s shopping streets to come alive again

One of Bangkok`s most popular tourist districts will this year again come alive to the exciting sights and sounds of Thailand`s annual shopping extravaganza, featuring music, dance, dining and discounts galore…

One of Bangkok<.>`s most popular tourist districts will this year again come alive to the exciting sights and sounds of Thailand`s annual shopping extravaganza, featuring music, dance, dining and discounts galore.

The annual Shopping Streets extravaganza will be expanded this year to include the entire stretch of road from the Ratchadamri-Ratchaprasong intersection to Siam Square. The dates: 1 December 2001 to 15 January 2002, a full 46 days of non-stop fun and festivity.

Organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT<.>) and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), this year`s event will be bigger and better than ever with more department stores, shopping centres, hotels and retail outlets having signed up to offer products and services bearing discounts ranging from 20% to 80%.

Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Pradech Phayakvichien said, We are very pleased with the enthusiastic support we have received from both the government agencies and the private sector. This is a great time for Thais and international visitors to buy gifts and presents for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

The entire area will glow with thousands of glittering decorative lights arranged to support the theme, Happy Stars Happy Streets 2002. There will also be beer gardens with live music until late night.

One of the highlights will be the Countdown for 2002 which will be held at the World Trade Centre between 6:00 p.m. of 31 December 2001 and 0:30 a.m. of 1 January 2002. The Countdown will feature Thai cultural performances, contemporary western dance as well as concerts by leading Thai artists.

Starting from 10:30 p.m., the event will be broadcast live nationwide on ITV Channel.

In addition to the shopping attractions, the Ratchadamri, Ratchaprasong and Siam Square areas include a number of famous tourist attractions

like the Erawan Shrine, Jim Thompson`s House (the Thai-style house of Thai silk pioneer Jim Thompson), and Narayanaphand, one of Thailand`s largest handicrafts sales centres.

An estimated 1,058,982 Thai and international visitors stopped by at last year`s shopping fest held between 1 December 2000 – 15 January 2001, according to spot surveys carried out by TAT. Of these, 202,960 visitors spent about 9.56 billion baht on shopping, and food and beverage.

Shopping is by far the highest item of average daily spending by international visitors to Thailand. In 2000, the daily expenditure of international visitors was 3,861.19 baht (US$96.27) per person, of which 1,338.74 baht, or 34.67% was on shopping.

This generated about 98.91 billion baht (US$2.47 billion) in foreign exchange revenue for the Thai economy, benefitting thousands of low-income shopkeepers, craftsmen, designers and manufacturers.

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