Anyone changing plans to visit Thailand? When will you be willing to go?

What can Thailand’s tourism industry do to recover from from the negative publicity generated by recent events? What would it take to get you to put Thailand back on your list (or are you willing to go now despite the travel warnings)?

I was having dinner with some colleagues and they were talking about an upcoming conference in Thailand that has needed to extend its deadline for submissions. Apparently they can’t find enough presenters this year. You have to wonder how large a financial toll the drop in tourism is going to take on Thailand.

Some people are calling this the worst thing that has ever happened to Thailand’s image as a friendly, gentle tourist destination and fancy hotels are closed (with razor wire) while occupancy at the open hotels is 20-30%.

The New York Times said 47 countries have issued travel warnings. Here are a few official statements:

USA: “US citizens should defer all travel to Bangkok and defer all non-essential travel to the rest of Thailand. The Department of State has authorized the departure of all non-emergency US government personnel and eligible family members from Bangkok.”

Australia: “The security situation in Bangkok has deteriorated significantly this morning. On the advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Government has raised the level of the travel advice to not travel to Bangkok.”

Thailand: “Visitors and tourists are advised to be vigilant, follow news developments, exercise extra caution and avoid areas covered by the declaration of a severe emergency situation.”

Filed Under: Tourism marketingTravel safety

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  1. tikitravel says:

    I would for sure still go to Thailand even with the warnings. There were warnings during the military coup when I went in 2006 and I had a great time, no problems. There was a warning when I went in November, didn’t have any problems that time either. There are plety of places in Thailand that are unaffected by protesters. Stay out of their way and you’ll have a problem free vacation:)

  2. Sharon says:

    I probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to go to Thailand, however, travel warnings come and go, and exist in a number of countries. Mexico, for example, yet I’ve never had a problem, staying away from border towns, etc. And then, we have travel warnings to Arizona now, both from Mexico and California, so who can say. We can’t second guess the trouble spots; there was no travel warning for NYC. I think as Mayor Bloomberg said…if we close down the city, we lose money, and the terrorists, rioters, drug cartels, etc., etc., will just move on to another area.

  3. Marc says:

    If you have not been in a country as the government was going thru a coup and being taken over by another faction, then you have no idea how bad it can get. Thailand is not the USA, so there is no resemblance to American stability, law and order, or the government as a generally beneficial force of nature. Its wild in Thailand right now. And a totally different picture than one can imagine unless you were here.

  4. Marc says:

    If you have not been in a country as the government was going thru a coup and being taken over by another faction, then you have no idea how bad it can get. Thailand is not the USA, so there is no resemblance to American stability, law and order, or the government as a generally beneficial force of nature. Its wild in Thailand right now. And a totally different picture than one can imagine unless you were here.

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