Bali may become a more desirable destination for Australian tourists than Thailand if the Kingdom's political problems are prolonged, says Silachai Surai, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Australia and New Zealand office.
Continued political troubles could see Thailand lose its preferred position with Australians which it took from the Indonesian island in 2004.
“Bali is highly competitive and is cheaper at US$900 per trip compared to $1,000 a trip to Thailand,” said Mr Silachai.
“Travelling from Australia to Bali is just three hours. If Thai political instability continues, it’s likely that we will lose to Bali.”
Australians ranked fifth in terms of tourists coming to Thailand last year with 646,027 arrivals, a drop of 6.98% from the year before.
Thailand’s political turmoil, including the seizure of Bangkok's airports and riots on the capital's streets, saw Australian arrivals fall far short of the targetted 700,000 arrivals.