State of Emergency affects tourism

The private sector has expressed concern that the 60-day state of emergency declared in Bangkok and adjacent provinces by the Thai government will adversely affect investment and tourism.

Tourism and Sports Minister  Somsak Pureesrisak admitted that many countries have raised their travel alerts for Bangkok since the government has declared the state of emergency.

He said the number of foreign tourist arrivals this year is projected to drop from 28 to 26 million, down five percent.

Hotel occupancy rate during peak season has been recorded at 30 percent only.  Prolonged political rallies have so far cost the tourism industry a 20 billion baht loss.

Meanwhile the Tourism Council of Thailand calls on the government to lift the state of emergency as it has tarnished tourism image. It also calls for end of political violence, asking the government and protesters to resolve  their conflict through peaceful dialogues.

Based on a survey conducted by University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the declaration of the state of emergency will certainly slow down people’s spending, or a drop of 5-7 percent, accounting for a decreased amount of money at 700-1,000 million baht a day.

The poll says tourism will be affected if political violence escalates. But they still believed the Thai economy should grow 3-4 percent this year due to the country’s sound economic fundamental.