Thai tourism sector fears impact from US, European economic slump


BAGNKOK, 10 August 2011  – Thai tourism entrepreneurs have become anxious about the current economic downturn in the US and Europe as well as the impact on their businesses which could be seen in the next two months. 

President of the Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA) Charoen Wangananont opined that violent riots in the UK could affect locals’ decision to travel abroad and indirectly cause a slowdown in Thai tourism. Nonetheless, he noted that a more worrying factor was the sluggish economies of the US and Europe, which should be monitored closely for two more months before it could be concluded whether there would be any effects on Thai entrepreneurs.

As for the current tourism atmosphere, about 3.5 million foreign travelers came to Thailand during the first six months of this year or from January-June, increasing by 35 percent which is comparable to that of last year. Most of the tourists were from China, Japan, South Korea, India and Russia.

On this occasion, Mr Charoen encouraged Mr Chumpol Silpa-archa, who had been named the Minister of Tourism and Sports for the second term, to press ahead with all projects on his agenda. He said the Minister should convene with the private sector in a bid to pinpoint problems and adjust the working process so that the Thai tourism industry could move forward.