Tourism covers 7% of Thailand’s economy. Travel and Tourism operations in Thailand provide 2 million+ jobs. However, the industry shows resilience despite a long decade of political turmoil.
News reports mention that 26.7 million record visitors came over last year which was a rise by 20% since previous year.
However, political protests which took place in November caused 6% drop in the foreign tourist arrivals. This was during the period of January-April of this year as reported by Piyaman Tejapaibul who is president of Thailand’s Tourism industry.
Piyaman has appealed the ruling junta for lifting night curfews at the beach resorts which includes Phuket and Samui and Krabi and Pattaya.
News from Phuket Gazette newspaper said, “Everybody around the country, especially those in tourism sectors, hopes that military rule is shunned and democracy prevails.”
However, more than forty countries have declared travel alerts which include US and Hong Kong. They have advised the citizens to avoid Thailand travel for non-essential reasons.
Hong Kong is one major source of Thailand visitors. Travel Industry Council stated that minimum 70 tour groups were cancelled by travel agents this week which involved 1300 people.
The Hotels in Bangkok also say that the coup has lead to non-stop cancellations.
Lebua hotel’s chief executive said, “We filed extra 650 cancellations during past 5 days. Bangkok’s Lebua hotel’s Sky Bar- a lavish elevated rooftop was a characteristic location in the movie Hangover 2.
As a result, this 5-star hotel is offering certain promotions which it calls as “Staycations”. This is done to entice the locals and travelers to visit for drinks and dinner and spend relaxed nights while avoiding rushing to home because of curfew.
A similar case is seen with Swissotel Nai Lert Park who has announced “Beat the Curfew” offer for residents till the end of month of June.