Sluggish Recovery with Thai Tourism? Thailand Lifts Curfew; But Martial Law Remains

Tourism is a massive part of the Thai economy, contributing, by some estimates, about 20% Thailand’s GDP. Factual numbers so far, confirms a “sluggish recovery, from Thailand’s long political crisis and a coup, that is meant, for tourism, take Thailand back to stability and peace. While foreign tourist are holding back, local press reports that at a recent tourism meet, Thais express greater interest in traveling.

Local press, however, again, reports a “Sluggish Recovery” of Thailand’s tourism industry. Yet Thai tourism officials pointed out, that at this “Rainy Season” time in Thailand, is “Low Season” and therefore, the numbers to watch is towards the end of the year, when “High Season” hit. However, fundamentally, there are some changes, as local press also reports, Thailand’s tourism leaders have asked the Prayuth’s junta, to crack-down on “Foreign Owned Tourist Business” in Thailand.

That call for a crack-down, is based on foreign firms taking the business away from Thai operators and that these foreign operators, often break the law, such as using foreign tour guides, and also, often, the business is linked to foreign “Mafia Gangs.” However, many foreign tour operators, report local press, have complained of the aged old problems with Thailand, and that is low English language knowledge of the Thais, making it difficult, to serve foreign tourist.

With the lifting of the curfew, local press reports the return of Thailand’s “Wild & Crazy” night-life, a major draw, for many segment of global tourism to Thailand. Local press, also reports, the World Cup, is having some impact on tourism to Thailand, as the global attention, currently, is on sports, not vacationing.

Thailand Lifts Curfew; Martial Law Remains

 The following is from Asia Travel Tips (Source)

The whole of Thailand is still under martial law, but the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has now lifted the curfew from the entire country.

The NCPO established the curfew – which initially was for between 22:00 and 05:00, then later reduced to between 00:00 and 04:00 – on 22 May 2014. It has been gradually lifted from different areas within the Kingdom since then.

What this means to tourism is unclear, as while it allows Thais and visitors to Thailand to travel around as and when they please, it does not really affect the travel insurance concerns some tourists may have. This is because the continued imposition of martial law could invoke an exclusion clause in a travel insurance policy, so while it cannot be denied that the lifting of the curfew from the entire country is a positive move for tourism, there is still some way to go before things will return to “normal”. Travellers planning to visit Thailand should check with their travel insurance provider to see where they stand on this issue, and whether they are still fully protected.

There have also been reports in some Thai media on Saturday (14 June) that the curfew could be reinstated in some areas depending if there is trouble or not. On Friday, a grenade exploded in Bangkok though official reports state that the incident was not politically motivated. Nobody was injured.

Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said, “The nationwide lifting of the curfew shows the world that things are moving forward here in Thailand and that tourism has not been disrupted. This latest announcement by the NCPO should help reassure everyone coming for a holiday in Thailand or to enjoy the country’s shopping, dining and nightlife attractions that it’s business as usual and that the famous Siamese smile has not dimmed.”

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