Tourism body urges quick end to political conflicts

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The Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) is urging all sides to resolve the prolonged political crisis as soon as possible, as the tourism sector continues to be severely hit by the turmoil.

The ATTA said if the impasse is resolved peacefully by this month, a number of tourist arrivals from neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam may pick up.

However, the association expressed deep concern over the crisis’s impact on East Asian markets including Japan and China, where it may take up to 5 months for tourists in these countries to regain confidence in Thailand.

Among key markets, tourist arrivals from Japan dropped the most by 69 percent, followed by China by 50 percent.

Bangkok’s occupancy rates have plummeted more than 30 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period last year. International tourist arrivals to Thailand declined by 4.1 percent in February and 9.39 percent in March.