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Some tourism officials concerned with political climate, ask government to open dialogue

Caitlin Ashworth



In the midst of Thailand reopening its borders to foreigners on the Special Tourist Visa, political protests have only grown in Bangkok and are now being held in cities across Thailand. Now tourism operators are worried and are asking the government to engage in dialogue with the protesters. President of the Tourism Council of Thailand Chairat Trirattanajarasporn says he’s worried about another coup (Thailand’s had 12 since 1932) being used to solve the problems rather than talking it out.

“If the situation’s gone too far, I am concerned a coup will worsen the economy and affect the country’s image on the global stage… A coup is not the ultimate solution to the problem.”

Now that the protests are spreading across the country, Chairat says some tourist destinations could be impacted. In Bangkok, traffic has been blocked on busy intersections by thousands of protesters. BTS and MRT stations have also been shut down during some protests. He adds that people also tend to save their money during times of protest movements rather than spending it on trips.

“At this moment, the government has to show protesters and Thais the improvements they have brought about during the past 6 years, instead of harassing them for speaking up.”

On the flip side, Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn says he’s checked with TAT’s 29 overseas offices that have been monitoring international feedback and no one has reported concerns with Thailand’s political climate, adding that the visitors on the Special Tourist Visa are sticking with their plans to travel to Thailand.

“It is too early to assess the impact on tourism as mass gatherings have occurred recently and there has been no violence.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar


    Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    One thing is sure: tourists and foreign investors want peace and stability.

    Tourists and foreig investors dont really care about the government in the country, they dont care if it is democracy or not, they know almost nothing about local politics, but if they see alarming pictures in the media, they will not come and invest.

  2. Avatar


    Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 7:05 pm

    “In the midst of Thailand reopening its borders to foreigners” Huh? did I miss something?

  3. Avatar


    Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 9:55 pm

    No doubt this has figured into the reason the first group of tourists is being spirited out of Bangkok right after their quarantine is over. No independent travelers here, only tightly controlled zero dollar tour groups allowed from China at this point in time.

  4. Avatar


    Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    It’s sad that almost everything is falling apart in Thailand. I mean at first, sure the pandemic (which the true numbers never came out). Tourism (economy) and the protests (government) as well. I pray for you Thailand, for people.

  5. Avatar


    Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 12:51 am

    The Australian DFAT updated the Thailand smarttraveller advisory to refer to the SOE in Bangkok and the protests, the travel advisory remains DO NOT TRAVEL as it has been since the beginning of COVID-19. This would indicate that the world is watching and monitoring recent events as expected.

  6. Avatar


    Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 5:47 am

    Some of the boys in uniform may be getting a bit twitchy.

  7. Avatar


    Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 9:39 am

    How can there be another coup when the military are already running the show

  8. Avatar

    PJ Kelly

    Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    Thailand will remain in economic peril until it can open its borders. If they can’t tolerate a limited amount of Covid in the country, there will be no international travel for several years.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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