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Posts Tagged ‘Thai Tourism’

28th February 2014

As of the time of this writing, the “Shutdown Bangkok” campaign is scheduled to end on Monday, March 3rd. However, from initial reports it is not clear whether the movement will be fully dissolved in all locations. Apparently, leaders of the movement have scheduled an end to the blocking of key intersections throughout the city while consolidating the movement’s location at Lumpini Park. Meanwhile, it remains unclear whether the protest site at Chaeng Wattana will be closed as well.

Apparently, this decision was made as a result of concerns that the protest has had a dampening effect upon the Thai economy. As protests intensified many people from all sectors of the Thai business community raised concerns that the situation was causing losses in the tourism industry as well as possibly leading to decreases in future foreign direct investment.

The recent news will likely come as a welcome surprise to the Thai business community especially the tourism sector as it could be a portent of a future lasting compromise leading to a maintenance of stability in the country. Those living and working in Bangkok will likely also be glad to hear of the reopening of major intersections since doing so will undoubtedly lead to less traffic congestion in the city.

Hopefully, this announcement will encourage foreign governments around the world to lift their travel warnings and travel bans regarding Thailand. As a consequence, tourists will return to Thailand on a scale that is relatively commiserate with tourism numbers prior to the outset of protesting.

Notwithstanding recent political tension there are many who feel as though Thailand still represents one of the top tourism destinations in the world. Furthermore, Thailand is also considered a prime destination for foreign direct investment as the Kingdom remains one of the strongest economies in Southeast Asia. Couple this with the fact that as of January 2015 the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will come into being creating a wide range of business opportunities in Thailand and throughout the region, and there is good reason to believe that Thailand will remain strong economically. Should the AEC also herald the coming of a single unified ASEAN visa scheme Thailand as well as the rest of Southeast Asia could see an increase in the numbers of both business and leisure travelers. Only time will tell how all of these developments will play out, but cautious optimism is apparently called for under the present circumstances.

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12th November 2013

It was recently announced that the President of the Tourism Council of Thailand Piyaman Tejapaibul met with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at Government House on 12 November 2013 in order to discuss matters pertaining to tourism in the Kingdom of Thailand. This recent meeting was held as Bangkok and other areas of Thailand have seen demonstrations which seem to be causing concern for Thai officials. Although many in Thailand feel that the demonstrations should be monitored, they are unlikely to adversely impact the tourism sector so long as the demonstrations remain confined to specific relatively small geographic areas. Over 26 million tourists are expected to travel to Thailand in 2013 and are also expected to bring in revenue well over 1.5 trillion Thai baht to the local economy. This being the case, it  is little wonder that officials in the Thai government as well as the industries which thrive upon tourism related activities are concerned about the possible negative consequences stemming from recent political demonstrations (regardless of affiliation).

The Thai government appears committed to a policy non-violence towards demonstrators as, so long as demonstration remain peaceful, they are not prohibited by law. Meanwhile it currently appears that these demonstrations are confined to only a few areas of the City of Bangkok, namely: Phan Fa Bridge, Makkhawan Bridge on Ratchadamnoen Avenue, and Democracy Monument. At present, increased security measures have been undertaken in these locations as a precautionary measure while traffic police in the city work in earnest to ensure that these activities do not interfere with normal traffic flow in Bangkok. That being stated, some roads and facilities near demonstration sites may be temporarily closed due to demonstrations occurring close by so travelers are advised to research their traffic route prior to traveling in certain parts of the city so as to forestall unnecessary delays.

As of the time of this writing, nearly 20 countries have issued travel warnings to their citizens urging them to try to avoid areas where demonstrations may be taking place. In the recent past, demonstrations have led to significant disruptions in Bangkok as parts of the city were, at one time, virtually impenetrable to ingress and egress. However, under the current circumstances it would appear that such a situation will be unlikely to come about in the near future.

Tourism is a substantial aspect of the Thai economy and it is rather impressive to see government officials as well as civil servants making efforts to see to it that tourism is not affected by recent political activities. Moreover, it would appear that demonstrators are making a conscious effort to keep demonstrations peaceful and confine their activities to certain areas.

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