PHUKET: The Phuket office of the Thai Hotels Association today reported that about 20% of reservations made at Phuket hotels prior to the Songkran holiday have been canceled following the Thai government’s declaration of a state of emergency in the nation’s capital late yesterday.
According to the office, most of the cancellations were from Japanese and Chinese tourists, following the issuance of travel advisories by their respective embassies.
TAT Phuket Office spokesperson, Settaphan Buddha-ni, told the Gazette that the Chinese and Japanese tourist markets are the most sensitive to incidents of political unrest. However, more Thais were now visiting Phuket and most Patong hotel operators are happy with current occupancy rates of between 70 and 80%, he said.
“Japanese tourists numbers dropped to zero following the closure of Suvarnabhumi Airport due to People’s Alliance for Democracy protests in November last year. However, Phuket usually welcomes about 20,000 Japanese tourists to Phuket each month, said Mr Settaphan.
— Atchaa Khamlo
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