Trips to Chiang Mai and Bangkok failed to reach expectations, however, due to fewer foreign tourists than normal out of concern over political violence.
Prakit Piriyakiet, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) deputy governor for the marketing communications department, said the number of visitors to Phuket, Hat Yai, Samui and other major destination in the South had increased by about 20 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Hat Yai reported visitor growth of more than 20 per cent, as many Malaysian tourists as well as Thai travellers celebrated Songkran in the city.
Prakit said the number of visitors to the Northeast was at the same level as last year, most of them workers returning home for the holiday.
The number of visitors to Bangkok dropped by 10-12 per cent from the same three days last year.
"With 43 countries having issued travel advisories to their citizens to avoid or reconsider visiting Thailand, the number of foreigners plunged," he added.
More than 90 charter flights bringing nearly 15,000 visitors from China were cancelled due to last weekend's bloody clashes in Bangkok, just a few days prior to the Songkran festival.
Prakit said Chiang Mai also missed its visitor target, even though the city is famous for its boisterous celebration of the annual festival.
However, other commercial cities in the North such as Nan and Sukhothai were reported crowded with many domestic tourists.
The TAT will soon report tourists' spending during the Songkran festival, and will discuss with the private sector tourism strategies for the coming low season.
Kongkrit Hiranyakit, chairman of the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), said tourism business across the country during the festival had grown by 15 to 20 per cent.
The TCT reported a similar picture to that of the TAT as far as Chiang Mai and Bangkok were concerned, with both destinations enjoying fewer tourists than last year's Songkran due to the cancellation of charter flights and fear of further street violence.
The TCT said operators in the South had received a healthy number of both local and foreign visitors, while those in the Northeast felt that business was at the same level as last year.
"Although Songkran produced a positive result [for tourism], I feel the country's political problems will not go away soon as the government has declared there are [political] terrorists in the Kingdom," Kongkrit said.
The TCT wants to talk with the private sector and officials about the situation and prepare business strategies, he added.
Charoen Wangananon, president of the Thai Travel Agents Association, said it would revise up its estimates of tourism damage and other impacts from the red-shirt demonstrations next week.