Protests hit Thailand tourist arrivals

Protests hit Thailand tourist arrivals

Country loses 300,000 visitors, according to TAT

Country loses 300,000 visitors, according to TAT

Tourists are being warned to stay away from protest areas
Tourists are being warned to stay away from protest areas (photo by beemanja)

Thailand has suffered a drop in tourist arrivals since the onset of the latest protests, the country’s tourism authorities have revealed.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) deputy governor for marketing communications, Sugree Sithivanich, was reported saying this week that the number of international visitors to Thailand has dropped 300,000 so far, due to the prolonged anti-government protests. This is estimated to have cost the country THB16 billion (US$498 million) in tourism revenues.

Currently, 23 countries and regions have issued travel advisories, urging their citizens to avoid areas of Bangkok where the protests are taking place. And Sugree added that Thailand’s tourism vital tourism sector will be severely affected if the protests continue and the advisories are upgraded.

All major tourism destinations in Thailand, including hotels, airports and shopping malls, remain open for business and unaffected by the protests.

In the first 10 months of the year, Thailand welcomed 21.7 million international visitors, up 22.3% year-on-year, and it seems very likely that the country will achieve its full-year target of 22.2m arrivals.

Mark Elliott
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Mark Elliott
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