Thailand to lose on tourism

April 22nd, 2009 - 12:53 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

On Tuesday, a government spokesman said, Thailand may lose up to US$5.35 billion in terms of the tourism revenue and millions of visitors in 2009 following its latest bout of political turmoil

The street protesting and the violent storm of a regional summit being held in a Thai coastal resort and ongoing emergency measures have all hit the sector hard only weeks after other demonstrations shuttered the kingdom’s airports.

The government forecast a tourism revenue shortfall of 190 billion baht this year, with 3.2 million fewer visitors to Thailand as a result of the unrest.

‘The revenue from tourism could drop 35 percent… to only 350 billion baht from 540 billion baht in 2008,’ deputy government spokesman Vachara Kannikar said, announcing the forecast compiled by the Tourism Council of Thailand.

The kingdom’s tourist-friendly image was dented by a nine-day seizure of Bangkok’s airports at the end of last year that left thousands stranded, and was further affected by rallies held by rival demonstrators last week.

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