News: The Political Situation in Thailand Threatens Thai Tourism

It’s been several months since the first political protest took place in Bangkok. Now these protests are happening in several cities in Thailand and the political situation is more complicated. The talks between the ruling party and the opposition leaders are not resulting in solution to the problem.

This May a court decision made the situation even more complicated. The highest court in Thailand ruled that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra must resign as well as few of her fellow ministers. This decision was surprising because the situation in Thailand was slowly normalizing and although the opposition and the ruling party had disagreements there was some progress. Now, because of this court decision the divide will grow and the talks will probably collapse.

During these turbulent last few months more than 20 people lost their lives and the news about the political turmoil in Thailand was spread around the world. This situation has undoubtedly affected Thai tourism in a negative way.  Although all the major tourist destinations in Thailand (except Bangkok) were not directly affected by the protests, the constant news filled with violent protests and revolt certainly decreased the number of tourists booking hotels in this beautiful Southeast Asian country. A couple of weeks ago Thailand Tourism Forum took place in Thailand. It was organized by C9 Hotel Works and the American Chamber of Thailand. The main focus on the discussions was the impact that the political situation has on Thai tourism. According to many participants Thai tourism was getting back to normal in the past month although some previous numbers were really worrying. For example, the number of hotel bookings in Bangkok were 25% lower compared with the same period last year and the interesting thing is that the number of cancelations was directly linked with the unrest – the higher the number of protests the higher the number of cancelations. As we have mentioned before the situation in other tourist places was not that serious (they had 2-3% lower number of tourists).

The latest court decision might bring a lot of trouble in Thailand for both overall economy and for the tourism too.


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