The Thai travel industry faces serious negative impact from the tsunami in Japan yesterday. Airlines and tour operators expect the disaster to hit travel to and from Japan during the coming school holidays.

During the school break in March and April, many Japanese travel to Thailand. Japanese tourists number almost 1 million per year.

“We will see negative impact on both outbound and inbound travel,” said Anake Srishevachart, president of the Thai Japan Tourism Business Association (TJTBA). However, he said it was too early to estimate the size of the impact.

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Yesterday China, the Philippines, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea were bracing for possible tsunamis after the 8.9magnitude earthquake struck off the northeast of Japan, sending waves crashing through coastal towns.

Tsunami warnings were issued in the Philippines and Taiwan, after the northeastern Japanese city of Sendai, 300 kilometres north of Tokyo, was struck by the waves.

In Thailand, authorities warned that the tsunami could reach the southern provinces of Narathiwat and Pattani today.

Surin Pitsuwan, secretarygenerฌal of Asean, said the earthquake in Japan would affect investment in Thailand and Asean as Japan had previously been planning foreign investment because of the strength of the yen.

via Travel industry fears effects of quake.

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