Sungai Kolok car bomb causes tourists’ check out of 50 percent


NARATHIWAT, July 21 – The Friday car bomb in Su-ngai Kolok district has heavily impacted the local economy, causing 50 percent of foreign tourists to check out from their hotels immediately, said Su-ngai Kolok Hotel Association chairman Saengtong Preechawutidet.

The Friday morning car bomb injured eight people and set ablaze a commercial building where Pro Computer And OA Company was located. Authorities believed the first target was a local bank, but as bombers could not park their car, equipped with a hidden bomb, they changed their target to the computer company.

Mr Saengtong said that before the incident, the local economy including trade and tourism had improved. As security measures had been tightened since September of last year, he did not want to blame authorities for a lack of safety measures. Nonetheless, he asked the government for an adjustment of plans for further protection in the area.

Meanwhile, Narathiwat Chamber of Commerce chairman Kukiat Burapapong also commented that the car bomb has heavily affected the local economy, as during the Ramadan fasting period, Muslim Malaysians usually visited Thailand to buy food. The incident could affect their travels to the area, he said. However, he believed the impact would last for about two months before the situation could return to normal.

Mr Kukiat added that local entrepreneurs and the public were still confident in the government’s security measures. He noted there had been less untoward incidents in Su-ngai Kolok than in other areas in the three southernmost provinces.