The Tourism Council of Thailand said that the countrys tourism industry has now been seriously affected by the planned “Bangkok shutdown” by anti-government protesters set for Jan 13, with no new booking tours reported, especially from Chinese tourists.
Council president Piyaman Techapaiboon said the number of international tourists has decreased with no new bookings, noting that the council is collecting information on the exact figures of revellers, especially those from China.
She noted that the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration on January 31 is approaching. Association of Thai Travel Agents ATTA president Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn said normally the first quarter of the year is considered as the “high season” for Thailands tourism industry.
With ongoing political disorder, Ms Sisdivachr said, the industry has been definitely hit and the situation cannot be controlled by tourism-related operators.He said that the number of Chinese visitors continues to drop due to the new regulations of tourism business in their country which have been enforced last October. The situation worsens with Thailands mounting political tension as Chinese tourists feel reluctant to come here and delay their tour bookings.
The ATTA president said the business operators still dont know what they can do with marketing strategies, as well as how to answer the questions of foreign customers whether the January 13 Bangkok shutdown will be prolonged or not.If the protest continues, Mr Sisdivachr said, it will affect the Chinese New Year period when Thailand usually welcomes the highest number of Chinese tourists.With the possible enforcement of an emergency decree in the capital and unstable politics, the ATTA president said the situation is “beyond our control”.