Thailand loses $700 million worth of tourism in January
Thailand lost around $700 million in tourism revenues in January due to the ongoing clashes and demonstrations in the capital Bangkok. The country saw around 50% fewer tourists in January, while many hotels in the capital are operating at just 30% occupancy.
However, experts are pointing to Thailand’s resilience in such situations. Crises have in the past had a relatively short-term effect on tourist arrivals.
Tourism in Thailand is not just about Bangkok, the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Toby Nicol pointed out on the BBC’s business program. The unrest is not being replicated elsewhere in the country, hundreds of kilometres away, he said.
Overall, travel and tourism in Thailand will be up this year, Nicol suggested.
Tourism accounts for 17% of Thailand’s gross domestic product and around 5 million jobs. The current demonstrations will affect the economy, Nicol said, but “it’s called Teflon Thailand for a reason – any crisis doesn’t stick.”
[pictured: Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa]