Suit eyed for Singapore Songkran

A Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) executive said on Tuesday that she plans to consult other state agencies to see if legal action could be taken to protect Thailand’s cultural heritage in the wake of a Singaporean plan to hold a “Songkran” festival in the city-state next month.

TAT Deputy Governor for Tourism Products Vilaiwan Twichasri said she would hold talks with officials at the Department of Intellectual Property, Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Culture to study intellectual property provisions on the issue.

If the law allows, TAT could take legal steps to prevent member states of the Asean Economic Community from conducting and organising traditional cultural activities based on Thai arts and culture, such as Songkran and Loy Krathong festival.

The Singapore “Celebrate Songkran 2014” event has been organised by a private company and will be held at the Padang open field opposite Singapore’s City Hall on April 12 and 13.

Mrs Vilaiwan said the Singapore event will not affect local tourism during this year's Songkran holiday. But she warned that it may have a detrimental long-term impact if it were held every year in the neighbouring country, since it could influence where local and international tourists decide to visit during the period.

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