Protests in Thailand lead to fewer tourists

Bangkok warnings in place; resorts so far free of trouble

The ongoing political unrest in Thailand has hit tourist numbers, which totalled 25.8 million in 2013, below expectations of 26.1 million.

The usually optimistic Thai tourist authorities are not hiding the impact of the unrest, at least not completely. “We expect a slight decline,” says the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Ronit Tokrisna.

Airport authorities report a 2% decrease in passenger numbers compared to 2012.

Chinese tourism continues to flow, but the number of Japanese tourists has declined sharply. At least 39 countries have deployed some kind of travel warning for Thailand, but the travel trade is warning clients primarily about Bangkok and the surrounding area. Resorts so far remain free of trouble.

A poll conducted by Thai Hotel Association, which represents 800 hotels, shows that 26 hotels in Bangkok saw the cancellation of 25,000 nights in December.

[pictured: Buddhist park, Phutthamonthon district, Nakhon Pathom Province; photo by Tevaprapas Makklay]


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