Monday, October 5, 2009

Tourism hit 49-year low

BANGKOK: -- The tourism industry has hit a 49-year low and is expected to plunge by 22 per cent this year, according to the Tourism Council of Thailand.

Besides the global economic crisis, the country's continuing political turmoil had contributed to the sharp decline in tourism, Tourism Council of Thailand chairman Kongkit Hiranyakij said on Thursday.

The expected number of tourist arrivals had been reduced from 14.1 million to 11, he said.

The A(H1N1) flu outbreak could make tourism contract by three to four per cent, causing the country to lose up to 200 billion baht of tourism revenue this year, he said.

Last year, Thailand gained 540 billion baht in tourism revenue.

"If the government can solve its political problems and is able to host the Asean meetings successfully, tourism should be revived by the end of this year or the beginning of 2010," Mr Kongkit predicted.

However, he said Thai tourists would help generate 430 billion baht in revenue this year. Read more...

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