Mystery of Thai tourism settled! AFP’s exclusive shows tourist numbers & spending down

After months and months of conflicting reports about the state of Thai tourism industry, with the likes of Bangkok Post reporting a recover and other reporting continued decline, here comes a definite word from AFP. AFP reports the immigration division reporting a 9% drop in arrival and 6.1% fall in income, from January to October of this year, compared to the same period last year.

The following is from AFP (Source)

Koh Panyee (AFP) – Thailand’s Immigration Bureau has reported a near nine percent drop in tourist arrivals between January and October compared to the same period in 2013, reports the AFP.

The news comes as a painful blow for the millions of Thais whose livelihoods depend on the industry.

Thailand’s tourism industry has taken a battering this year following months of protests, the May military coup, the subsequent imposition of martial law and the brutal slaying of two young Britons on the holiday isle of Koh Tao in September.

Between January and October tourism income in Thailand fell 6.1 percent compared to the same period last year to 905 million baht (US$27.5 billion).

With so many reliant on tourism in a country that dubs itself the “Land of Smiles”, Thailand’s generals know they must restore confidence.

The junta have vowed to “Return beaches to the people” — a side project of their wider promise to “Return happiness to Thailand”.

The first clean-up campaign was launched in the large resort island of Phuket where the authorities took down unregistered umbrella and food stalls.

But while the campaign restored a more pristine look to some of Phuket’s beaches, it angered many local businesses.

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