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Thailand Coup 2006: Thursday Tourism Update

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com Thursday, 21 September 2006

Those now in Bangkok on holiday, who have no interest in watching TV news programmes, or reading newspapers, can well be forgiven for not even being aware a military coup has taken place in Thailand. For those tourists enjoying the sunshine, sumptuous Thai food and exotic sights of Thailand's many beach destinations the situation will seem even more distant, with the most pressing issue of the day probably being whether to enjoy the sun and sea air by the pool or on the beach.

Such is the current calmness in Thailand. As news of the coup began to emerge on Tuesday evening, Thailand's tourism industry took a collective deep breath. The tourism industry in Thailand, as in many parts of Asia, has proved itself to be resilient time and time again, overcoming problems caused by wars, terrorism, SARS and the devastating Tsunami. But as we edge towards the peak Christmas, New Year, Holiday season any violence that this coup could have created would have had a massive impact on tourism to the country and of course the Thai economy.

It is still early, and the following 24 to 48 hours will be crucial, but if the current peace and overall sense of acceptance remain then there should be very little impact to the country's overall annual visitor arrival figures. While many cancellations have already been reported, these were mainly all knee jerk reactions from exhibition organisers, operators and FIT's who wanted to see how the situation unfolded. TAT believes it will be business as normal, and has already confirmed that the Thailand Travel Mart which will take place from September 26-28, will go ahead in Bangkok as planned.

Not one airline has cancelled or reduced the number of flights to or from the country, and there are no restrictions to travel on the roads of the capital or elsewhere in Thailand. Tourism really is operating as normal.

Bangkok-based PATA President and CEO Mr Peter de Jong wrote to Thailand-based PATA members on Wednesday, Even before this political crisis in Thailand comes to a resolution, we at PATA feel that it is important to send a clear message to the global travel industry that, so far at least, the situation here is calm and non-violent.

Bill Barnett, Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks, an asset management and hospitality consulting company based in Phuket, said that it was business as usual at his firm.

We spoke with our overseas clients on Wednesday, and they are all staying the course. These guys are used to this they understand the climate and see the big picture. There have been no glitches. People arent calling in and questioning their investments.

Some of them have even said that what is going on might be a good thing. For business its a bit of a non-event, but its a media feeding-frenzy. Its Thailand today, Iraq tomorrow, Lebanon the next day.

The only question people raise, and rightly so, is that if there is a change in government what is the new governments policy going to be towards foreign investment. Is it going to be pro-business or not. But its still early.

See other recent news regarding: Thailand Coup 2006, Pictures Thailand Coup 2006, Visitor Arrivals, Thailand

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