One City One International Festival

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  Thailand has a long history of diverse traditions and culture which reflect a regional way of life that is in harmony with nature. Ayutthaya in the central region has its goddess worshipping ceremony; Mae Hong Son in the north has “Look Kaew” ordination ceremony for novice Buddhist monks; Yasothon in the northeast has its rocket festival; Nakhon Si Thammarat in the south has a pagoda wrapping ceremony. These local festivals attract visitors from across the country and many Thai festivals are used to promote Thai culture to foreigners. These festivals are viewed as examples of the precious heritage that all Thais should help preserve and maintain.

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    The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has a long-term goal of combining the Festival Economy policy and local festivals under the “One City One International Festival” within the next five years. The aim of the project is to increase the value of the country’s unique local festivals as cultural exports. The short term goal of the project is to boost the country’s economy. The medium term goal is to promote the province as a tourist destination as part of the festival economy and the long term goal is to use the festival economy to sustainably develop the province. 

    TCEB and the Thailand International Events & Festivals Trade Association (TIEFA) have signed two memorandums of understanding (MOU) to promote the pilot festival economy in two provinces:

    1. An MOU to design and develop a festival plan for Petchaburi to sustainably promote a local festival in order to drive the local economy and income generation.

    2. An MOU with the Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association (RSTA) to create a festival plan to drive the economic and social impacts on businesses in Ratchaprasong which is one of the major business districts in the heart of Bangkok.

    TCEB will develop festival destinations to attract foreign visitors, generate employment in the city and to create festivals that will become part of the city’s heritage. Festival designers will work with the local government, the private sector, chambers of commerce and the public to design festivals based on a city’s DNA/identity and ideas from the local community. To identify the city DNA, TCEB will hold workshops with the local communities. The city DNA will be used to create experiences for visitors which are unique selling points of the festival and crucial factors towards the festival’s success. Developing a successful international festival, requires a distinctive identity and an interesting story of the city, local community engagement and co-operation from international partners.

    “One City One International Festival” will lay a foundation for the development of the “One City One Licensed Event” project. With support from public and private sectors, and the local community, these can become successful projects in the near future.