Thai king’s coronation creates buzz for Old Bangkok during and after event

Rehearsal for the late king's cremation in 2017

The royal coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn in Thailand, which will take place at Bangkok’s Grand Palace from May 4 to 6, is set to inject a buzz to business for hotels located near the ceremonial grounds during the event and generate post-event touring opportunities in the coming months.

The coronation will be a first for most Thais since Vajiralongkorn’s father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, was crowned on May 5, 1950. The revered monarch reigned for seven decades before passing away in 2016.

Rehearsal for the late king’s cremation in 2017

Also known by the title King Rama X, Vajiralongkorn’s coronation was delayed until after a mourning period for Bhumibol, who was cremated in October 2017 in a grand royal funeral in Bangkok.

Sa-nga Ruangwatanakul, president of Khao San Business Association and owner of Buddy Group of hotels, said properties located near Bangkok’s Rattanakosin Island, where the coronation ceremonies will be held, have already received advance bookings mostly from government officers and domestic tourists from upcountry.

“Many Thai people want to witness the royal coronation ceremony and saw a need to secure rooms. This bring business to hotels especially in Khao Sao Road, where is just few minutes’ walk to the Grand Palace – the main venue for the event,” Sa-nga said.

Buddy Group’s trio of properties in the old Bangkok area are expected to run at full capacity during the three-day event, Sa-nga noted. Some foreigners especially from Asian nations are expected to visit Bangkok to witness the historic event.

Phuriwat Limthavornrat, managing director of P Incentive Tour Event, said many travel companies would take advantage of the post-coronation celebration, including the lighting in old town until end of this year, by rolling out night packages for local and foreigners.

“We planned to offer packages after the ceremony, ranging from half-day up to two-day, one-night priced from 999 baht to 2,500 baht (US$31 to US$78), using our Siam Hop city bus tour. A special offer for elderly people will be at 599 baht or US$18,” Phuriwat said.

Jiradej Huayhongthong, managing director of Hongthong Enterprise, one of major rental travel bus firms in the country, said many Thai people would travel to royal attractions located nationwide. However, it still early to predict the number of domestic travellers or spending.

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