The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Bangkok Hotel closures provoke more worry for beleaguered Thai tourism industry

Written By: docreineger - Apr• 21•10

Bangkok Police Tac Squad guards entrance to Dusit Thani Hotel

The downtick of Thailand’s tourism business that started with the yellow-shirted People’s Alliance for Democracy’s (PAD) closing of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport in 2008 has continued unabated with the red-shirted United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship’s (UDD) protest at Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong intersection in 2010.

The Bangkok Post reported on April 21 that the InterContinental Bangkok and Holiday Inn Bangkok have temporarily decided to close. The Grand Hyatt Erawan and Four Seasons Hotel are no longer accepting new guests. It’s estimated that millions of baht per day are being lost by hotels in the area. Air traffic numbers are down as well, with over 100 charter tourism flights to Thailand cancelled in the last several weeks alone.

Many UDD redshirt protestors disguise themselves to thwart Thai police and military cameras

Foreign governments’ travel warnings regarding visits to Thailand are increasingly common, as sporadic threats, such as recent bomb attacks on various branches of Bangkok Bank, continue to be reported.

As was the case at Suvarnabhumi, a party atmosphere is in evidence at the Red Shirt camp at Ratchaprasong. Unsubstantiated rumors persist that protesters have been bused to Ratchaprasong for figures ranging from 500 baht to 1000 baht per person per day. While the protesting and partying continues, Thailand’s tourism market continues to drop, affecting not only the hotel industry, but all ancillary businesses as well.

Two large questions loom. How much worse will this get? And when this has run its course, how long will it take for Thailand to regain her reputation as a safe destination with easy access for world travelers?

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  4. It is just horrible what happens in Thailand I was there two years ago and it was great. So I think this demonstrations have a really bad influence on the economie and especially the tourism.

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