Thai Tourists undeterred by Taiwan earthquakes for Songkran

Picture courtesy of China Daily

Despite Taiwan experiencing its most significant earthquake in a quarter of a century and a series of tremors in Japan, Thai tourists are undeterred and continue with their planned holidays during the Songkran period.

Charoen Wangananont, President of the Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA), revealed that the majority of Thai tourists had already secured their tour packages, flight tickets, and accommodation, meaning they cannot seek refunds should they cancel their trips.

Wangananont disclosed that concerns were raised about travel safety after news of the Taiwan earthquake emerged. However, upon understanding that the affected regions were on the island’s eastern side, tourists opted to proceed with their original tour plans.

Despite southern Japan also issuing earthquake and tsunami warnings, these incidents did not affect the outbound tour programmes scheduled for Japan during Songkran, according to Wangananont.

Thai Tourists undeterred by Taiwan earthquakes for Songkran | News by Thaiger
Picture courtesy of China Daily

Japan retains its position as the preferred destination for Thais during Songkran, with China, South Korea, and Taiwan also featured on the list. Wangananont explained how tourists are now more informed about the potential of natural disasters and how they can occur at any moment.

“They know how to use the Internet to get updated information. When they know that it’s safe to travel, they are deciding not to cancel their trips.”

Interestingly, tour operators are more concerned about weak purchasing power than natural disasters. Wangananont pointed out that the demand for outbound travel post-Songkran is not as robust as anticipated.

“Earlier we expected growth of 15-20%, but the market is quite stable with no significant increase in sales.”

Chotechuang Soorangura, Vice-President of TTAA, said that the areas affected by the earthquake in Taiwan are mainly along the eastern coast, which isn’t a preferred destination for Thai travellers. As a result, outbound trips to Taiwan this month are continuing as planned.

Soorangura highlighted the adaptability of Thai tourists, saying that they are quite flexible and can alter their travel routes to unaffected areas, rather than cancelling their entire trip when unexpected events occur, such as the recent earthquakes.

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Alex Morgan

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