The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has cancelled the Colour of the River, Loy Krathong Festival 2011 in Bangkok and all festivities along the Chao Phraya River. The famous religious festival is due to take place on 8 November, but due to flooding in the Bangkok area, official festivities have been cancelled. This is another blow for the regional tourism industry, which is already seeing hotel occupancies fall as flooding in the capital persists. Official sources estimate that cancelling the festival will cost the local river cruise industry THB56 million (US$1.8 million) alone.
Consequently, the Thai Boat Association will submit a plan to Chumpol Silpa-archa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism and Sports, outlining a post-flood integrated tourism rehabilitation strategy. The proposal suggests three key elements including the improvement and development of tourist attractions, the development of human resources and low-interest loans for tourism entrepreneurs. As for the short term, the tourism business will negotiate with the government a share in the low-interest credits which are available to assist flood-affected businesses.