Bangkok Political Unrest Causes Tourists to Stay Away says Leading Website
April 30, 2010 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel NewsApril 30, 2010 – With the political unrest in Thai capital Bangkok continuing throughout the month of April, the violent clashes are having a negative effect on the nation's tourist industry, says leading Thailand travel site 1StopThailand.com.
While most areas of the capital have not seen any violent clashes, the unrest in specific parts of Bangkok have prompted tourists to avoid travelling to the city. Visitor numbers to Bangkok first began to fall at the start of April when the peaceful nature of the protests turned for the worse.
Accommodation in Bangkok has felt the impact, with hotel occupancy in the city having fallen by 40% and 50%, meaning Bangkok hotels are only 20% occupied. The city's businesses have felt the pinch too with four of Bangkok's busiest shopping malls having closed to the public since the protests began. Sources put the daily cost to Bangkok's economy at as much as $30m per day.
Andrew Bond, editor of the 1StopBangkok.com website, commented, "Thankfully it's not the height of the tourist season, and protesters have left the airport alone, but the inability for the two sides to engage in dialogue doesn't bode well for future tourist seasons in Thailand".
"We have seen a drop-off in user numbers of our 1StopBangkok.com website of 20% since the protests ceased being peaceful, which is a steep decline even at the end of the holiday season here. So we're seeing people not visiting Bangkok physically, but also shunning the capital virtually too."
Though the majority of the problems in Bangkok have been limited to commercial districts in the centre of the city such as the Silom district, other areas of the capital have been impacted and tourists can find themselves walking into trouble in unfamiliar areas. Public transport services have been scaled back but on the whole Bangkok is still a safe place to visit. Into the bargain the country's famous islands and beaches in the south have experienced no trouble at all nor have the popular trekking destinations in the north.
Andrew Bond continued, "We have seen the Thai authorities look to put an end to the clashes as soon as possible in order to encourage travellers back to the city, so we hope that things will be resolved sooner rather than later. So while people should be aware of the potential for trouble in Bangkok they should also know that the rest of the country is perfectly safe to visit."
The 1stopthailand series aims to offer a 1 stop comprehensive tourist guide to online travellers, and includes more than 1000 content-rich pages across seven sites. Updated yearly, the sites also include more than 2500 pictures, 150 video clips and detailed listings of tourist businesses and services. With our 'tell it like it is' policy we try to promote Thailand in a balanced and positive way, free of over-commercialised influence, or undue favouritism to advertisers, hotel affiliates or suppliers.
The sites are produced and managed by Insiteful Web Services, based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. All information on these sites is researched and written by us, using a well-developed network of travel writers in Thailand and several people work full-time to update and manage the site.