Thailand Confident about Tourism
BANGKOK ~ Thailand is confident that its key tourism industry will keep growing despite soaring fuel costs and political protests in Bangkok, Tourism Minister Weerasak Kowsurat said this week.
Around 14.5 million foreign tourists are expected to visit Thailand this year, up slightly from last year’s 14.46 million visitors, he said.
Record oil prices have already prompted flag carrier Thai Airways to scrap its direct flight to New York, and the airline is expected reduce its flights to Los Angeles and other cities.
In Bangkok, small anti-government protests have rumbled along for two weeks, raising fears of a coup despite assurances from top generals that no such development is planned.
None of that appears to have deterred foreign tourists, Weerasak told reporters.
“At present, there may be some inconveniences but it has not yet caused any unrest,” Weerasak said.
Thailand’s tourism industry generates six percent of the national economy, and has proved incredibly resistant to shocks.
Tourism has posted record years despite the Indian Ocean tsunami, a coup, and a plane crash on the resort isle of Phuket.Filed under: Travel & Culture