TAT: Prolonged protests to cost 90 billion baht in tourism income

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BANGKOK, 19 February 2014  According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the Thai tourism sector will lose up to 90 billion baht worth of revenue and 900,000 foreign tourists if the political impasse drags on until April. 

TAT Governor Thawatchai Aranyik said the agency had assessed that the political situation in Thailand was turning for the worse and its outlook on tourism revenue had to be adjusted accordingly. It is projected that if no improvement is seen in Thai politics by April, there would be a loss of 90 billion baht in income during the first and second quarters of this year while the number of tourists would also be 900,000 less than it should be.

The TAT has, therefore, conferred with eight tourism-related organizations, including the Tourism Council of Thailand, the Association of Thai Travel Agents and the Thai Hotels Association, about possible measures to restore tourist confidence and stimulate the market. Mr Thawatchai was hopeful that foreign visitors would return to Thailand in the last two quarters of the year, citing that the Thai tourism business could recover quickly from past crises.

President of the Tourism Council of Thailand Piyaman Techapaiboon revealed that cooperation might be established with hotels and resorts, especially those in Bangkok and nearby provinces that were affected by political unrest, in launching promotional campaigns to draw in more customers. She believed a clear strategy would take shape next month.