Travel trade welcomes end of emergency

TAT: “Things are fast returning to normal” in Thailand



Travel specialists are welcoming the end of the state of emergency in Thailand. But they remain unsure as to whether this will enable them to claw back business lost during the months-long political crisis.

“It will be good if it leads to the lifting of negative travel advisories,” Willem Niemeijer, CEO of Khiri Travel Group, tells TTG Asia. “It would be better if the state of emergency is lifted without conditions, such as the Internal Security Act [which the caretaker government has implemented in Bangkok and surrounding provinces from yesterday].”

He added: “The confidence of Thailand on the whole can only improve over time, with sustained peace and the political process not taking place on the streets.”

The move by the caretaker government should provide a shot in the arm for the MICE sector, which had suffered a raft of cancellations, according to Max Jantasuwan, managing director of Events Travel Asia.

“We want to see business and the political situation return to normalcy,” he said. “[Lifting the state of emergency] will help a lot with event clients that are still deciding whether they should risk coming to Thailand or not.”

Thawatchai Arunyik, head of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said: “[Lifting the state of emergency] is a sign that things are fast returning to normal in Bangkok and visitors can look forward to travelling round the Thai capital with ease, as well as to the provinces for next month’s Songkran festival.”

TTG Asia

[pictured: Phi Ta Khon Festival, or Ghost Festival, held in Loei every June]