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Guest GaySacGuy

International arrivals plunge drastically in wake of red-shirt turmoil

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Guest GaySacGuy

The following appeared on ThaiVisa.com from the nation:






BANGKOK: -- Foreign tourist arrivals at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport, the Kingdom's main international gateway, have plunged dramatically, due to the protracted anti-government protests.


The average number of arrivals is now about 20,000 a day, down from 30,000 prior to the start of protests at the Pan Fah Bridge on March 14, Tourism and Sports Minister Chumpol Silapa-archa said yesterday.


The situation has worsened since Silom Road, in the heart of the city's central business district, was also sealed off in addition to protesters' occupying the Rajprasong area, a major tourism and shopping district.


The Tourism and Sports Ministry is seeking Bt1.6 billion to stimulate tourism in both domestic and international markets, with plans for joint promotional packages in cooperation with foreign airlines and travel agencies.


As well, visas will be issued free of charge to prospective foreign visitors, including 5,800 Chinese tourists who will arrive from May 6-10, while tax incentives will be given to Thai firms holding seminars and meetings at domestic tourist destinations.


In cooperation with foreign travel agencies, the ministry may also provide extra insurance to foreign travellers in Thailand.


The complete article is at Thailand's Tourism Plunges Drastically - Thailand Forum


In the blog attached to the article, the following comments are made:


Hardly surprising seeing UK foreign office say 'emergency travel only'

Travel agents no longer allowed to sell holidays to Thailand, have to offer refunds on existing bookings.

Travel insurance for Thailand cancelled by the insurance companies if you do insist on coming

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Guest xiandarkthorne

Curiously, Hatyai was so full over the weekend that my family and I couldn't check into our rooms until nearly 3pm on Sunday. At our hotel, seven buses carrying Malaysian, Singaporean and Indonesian tourists left for the border between 11am and 1pm. Across the road, we counted eight buses in the same period.



I think it's only arrivals via BKK airport that are being affected by the protests and potential crackdown. From an email I recieved, Phuket and Koh Samui are still good for holidays.


We were told by a Thai tourist guide that every hotel in Hatyai was fully booked that weekend. It seems that the weekend boom was due to some special annual southern Thai festival or prayer ceremony but many Penangites have learned never to go shopping in Hatyai on weekends as the border checkpoint is always jammed beween Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening. This has been the case for the last few years.



I forgot to add that there were many farangs, some with families, on holiday in Hatyai, too.

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Guest GaySacGuy

I suppose if there's a silver lining, it's that air fares into the country should start to fall again.


Don't be too sure....there will probably be a reduction in the number of flights, and some airlines might suspend flights, but prices may actually go higher...just a thought.

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Guest xiandarkthorne

That's quite true. Remember what happened the last time tourist arrivals fell drastically? Many bars raised their prices drastically instead of lowering them in the hope of attracting more people. And thai Airways has been too expensive for me to use when I go on writing assignments in Europe, for the last three years.

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That is getting close to the point where they stop travel here from the US...not a good sign. The embassy must feel that things are going to get worse, not better.

They're probably right. I and most farang I talk to also feel that things are likely to get worse, perhaps much worse, before things get better. But I also think the embassies all have to cover themselves to avoid later accusations that they did not properly warn people. I think they are exaggerating the actual danger, even in Bangkok, but I also think they don't have much choice about that.


There is no denying that there are areas that are best avoided, but unless something is going on that hasn't been reported, those areas should be easy to avoid.


Again, in Pattaya everything is still perfectly normal. If any of you are in Bangkok, please let us know your thoughts and observations.

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