Hotels refuse to return deposits for cancelled tours

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BANGKOK, 7 Feb 2014,  A number of foreign tourists have filed complaints that hotels in Bangkok have refused to refund their deposits after their cancellation of booked rooms, in the wake of the imposition of the emergency decree.

According to Sitdiwat Shewarattanaporn, President of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), the political turmoil and the imposition of the Internal Security Act in Bangkok have caused many prospective tourists to cancel their trips, resulting in huge losses to Small-and-Medium Enterprise tour operators.

The ongoing political crisis has driven away many foreign travelers, he said. Hotels in the capital are among the first businesses to feel the impact of the turmoil. While some hotels are willing to return the deposits, others are suggesting that tour operators find other groups of tourists to replace the ones who cancelled.

Meanwhile, Mr. Surapong Techaruwijit of the Thai Hotel Association (THA) has acknowledged the issue, saying that the THA is ready to step in as a mediator between tour operators and member hotels. Deposits are usually required during the high season, or long holidays, such as the Chinese New Year and Songkran, according to Surapong.