Connect with us


Thailand Tourism President calls for curfew to be lifted in Phuket



PHUKET: The president of the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), Piyaman Tejapaibul, has petitioned the ruling junta to lift the nightly curfew in Phuket and other tourist hotspots throughout the country.

Ms Piyaman told the Phuket Gazette today that she filed her request with the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) at a meeting yesterday.

“I asked for General Prayuth Chan-ocha to consider lifting the curfew in some tourism areas, specifically Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi and Pattaya,” Ms Piyaman said.

“The NCPO accepted my proposal for consideration. However, I was informed that the army must be sure about any changes they make before taking any action.”

Ms Piyaman said that she hoped the NCPO would lift the curfew in tourist destinations as soon as possible.

“Tourism was hit hard before the coup due to the long-running street protests,” she said.

“Although it is too early to tell how many cancellations there have been because of the coup, we have to admit that it is affecting tourists’ confidence.”

TCT Vice President Pornthip Hirunkate pointed out that more than 50 nations had issued travel warnings urging their citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Thailand.

“Among these, Hong Kong raised the warning to the top level,” Ms Pornthip told The Nation. “Furthermore, tourists from long-haul markets, including the US and Canada, as well as the UK and other European countries, have postponed their trips.”

Many business and leisure tourists reportedly also cancelled trips to Thailand last week.

Ms Piyaman pointed out that the past six months of political protests in the capital had stunted tourism growth for the year.

“The number of tourist arrivals during the first quarter this year dropped by 5.85% compared with last year, and the second quarter [which ends June 30] is already 8.75% behind last year,” she noted.

Considering the damage already done to the number of tourist arrivals, Ms Piyaman said the TCT supported the intervention by the military.

“We believe that it was better that the military stepped in than to let the protests go on forever. They had already gone on for far too long,” she said.

The TCT believes that the sector could record growth this year if a new government is installed quickly, and confidence in Thailand as a safe destination returns.

The council said next month’s Thailand Travel Mart in Bangkok was a chance for the industry to shine.

According to Ms Pornthip, tourism has suffered since the last coup in 2006 while other political issues, including the airport shutdown and street protests, have also had an impact, as did the severe floods in 2011. Despite that, the number of arrivals had continued to grow.

In 2006, Thailand received 13.8 million tourists. By 2013, the number of visitors had risen to 26.7 million, including an increase of 19.6% in the number of arrivals in that year alone.

“In Bangkok, the streets appear slightly quieter than usual and the general mood of the city seems calm,” Ms Pornthip said.

“But everyone in the country, especially in the tourism sector, hopes military rule is lifted soon and democracy restored.”

To counter the fall in the tourism arrivals, Ms Piyaman called on all media agencies to promote Thailand – by telling the truth.

“All we need to do to regain tourists’ confidence is to tell them exactly what is happening in Thailand and where tourists can travel to safely,” she explained.

“Let them know that nearly everyone is going about their lives normally. This is especially true in Phuket, where you can see that – except the curfew – there has been no impact.”

The curfew bans all unsanctioned travel on the streets from 10pm to 5am (story here).

Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut, at a briefing of governors and police chiefs at the Royal Thai Army Fourth Area Command in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, on Friday requested that Phuket be given a flexible curfew as it is a tourist destination (story here).

That request followed Weerawit Kurasombat, president of the Patong Entertainment Business Association, warning that the curfew was crippling Patong’s throbbing nightlife industry.

“If this curfew continues, it will be even worse than the tsunami. At least tourists could understand the tsunami was a natural disaster,” he said (story here).

However, the curfew looks set to stay until further notice.

Gen Prayuth, after receiving royal endorsement to lead the NCPO this morning, vowed to ease the “drastic measures” when the situation improved, but said the curfew was still needed (story here).

— Chutharat Plerin


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

World6 hours ago

Thai gangs traffic Kenyans to Myanmar scam factories

South7 hours ago

Deep South emergency decree extended 3 months

Thailand7 hours ago

Why Is Thailand So Cheap?

Sponsored2 days ago

Where you can get cannabis in Bangkok

Expats8 hours ago

Phuket’s 5 best golf courses

Crime8 hours ago

Inmate who escaped Khon Kaen hospital back in custody

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Masks recommended in crowds amid Covid increase

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime10 hours ago

Squabbling beach vendor gives rival a single bullet warning

Tourism11 hours ago

Russian invasion takes Thailand’s tourism forces by surprise

Road deaths11 hours ago

Late night drinking hopes dashed by Alcohol Control Committee

Thailand12 hours ago

Why Pattaya? Is Pattaya worth visiting in 2023?

Transport12 hours ago

Thai Airways appoint new CEO

Crime13 hours ago

Private jet in ‘Tuhao’ case still flying free

Thailand1 day ago

Thailand News Today | FIFA threatens to pull plug on World Cup broadcast rights in Thailand

Press Room1 day ago

Iconic chef “Alain DUCASSE” returns to Bangkok for 3rd anniversary celebrations of Blue by Alain Ducasse

Koh Samui1 day ago

VIDEO: Naked Russian man walks around with erection in Koh Samui

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11