BANGKOK, 10 January 2014 The Transport Minister has stated that Thailand will forego a great loss in opportunity if it does not follow through with the high-speed train project – also adding that current demonstrations have cost the tourism sector billions of baht.
Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) President Piyaman Tejapaibul reported that revenue from tourism this January has been 16% below forecast, or about 18 billion baht below the amount projected, with a loss of 400,000 foreign visitors due to the ongoing political unrest.
In regard to the political rally on January 13, Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt stated that he will establish a control center at Suvarnabhumi Airport, and will prepare a backup airport in an event of an emergency.
Furthermore, the Transport Minister has also set up a command center to disseminate necessary information to the public via the ministry’s website and hotline 1356 for traffic route inquiries.
As for the 2 trillion baht high-speed train project, Mr. Chadchart urged all sides to see the great benefit it would have for the country to develop the much needed basic infrastructure – adding that postponing it now would only incur a more expensive investment in the future.