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Peak tourist Season : not yet in Thailand

In what is supposed to be Thailand’s peak tourist season, the long tail boats along the Chao Phraya river, in the heart of Bangkok, are mostly empty these days. Tour operators have never seen it so quiet in October, Al Jazeera’s Aela Callan reports.

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In what is supposed to be Thailand’s peak tourist season, the long tail boats along the Chao Phraya river, in the heart of Bangkok, are mostly empty these days. Tour operators have never seen it so quiet in October, Al Jazeera’s Aela Callan reports.

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Athiraj, a tour operator in Bangkok, said: “The number of tourists has decreased at least 50 per cent. Normally this time of year is the start of the high season and a lot of tourists are coming. But now it feels like we are still in the low season.”

Around the Grand Palace, one of the Thai capital’s main tourist attractions, the city’s famous tuk-tuks sit idle, as do many street vendors who are barely scraping together a living selling souvenirs.

“This year is the worst. It’s actually the worst of the worst,” Jintana, a tour-boat operator, said.

“Normally I have so many tourists. The number is so enormous I do not have time to eat.”

The downturn is expected to cost Thailand $4bn.

Most blame the ongoing political upheaval in the country which has left the $14bn-a-year tourist industry feeling the heat.

The political troubles are highly visible.

Red-shirted supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister, regularly hold rallies outside popular tourist attractions, catching many visitors unawares.

It was the closure of Bangkok airport this time last year by Thaksins yellow-shirted opponents that has lingered in the minds of many foreign visitors.

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In most tourist areas of Thailand, locals are hanging their hopes on a surge of last-minute bookings to lift them out of the slump.

Bangkok’s largest hotel remains optimistic, though, and will continue with planned renovations in a vote of confidence for Thai tourism.

wat_poRoel Constantino, of the Shangri La Bangkok, told Al Jazeera: “If it’s the higher end of the market, because they have a choice and because they have the resources, the perception of political stability will probably come into play more than the economies of it.”

Clearly, it appears one thing above all else will bring tourists back to the Land of Smiles: stablity.

Tourism

COVID-19 situation in Thailand as of 8 March 2021

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First group of foreign tourists completes 14-day Golf Quarantine in Thailand

Thailand’s golf quarantine was created in line with the government’s strict COVID-19 prevention and control measures that required golfers to follow a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) from the Thai Department of Health Service Support

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First group completes 14-day Golf Quarantine in Thailand

Bangkok, 07 March, 2021 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to report that the first group of 42 golfers (41 South Koreans and one Japanese) arrived in Thailand and entered golf quarantine on 19 February, 2021, have successfully completed their 14-day golf quarantine and have started their journey around the country from 6 March, 2021.

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Tourism

Thailand sees gradual return of events and festivals

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to provide an update regarding the gradual return of events and festivals with strict COVID-19 safety and control measures, as the country rolls out its first inoculation programme.

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The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to provide an update regarding the gradual return of events and festivals with strict COVID-19 safety and control measures, as the country rolls out its first inoculation programme.

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