Bangkok, the 19th of June [PDN]: TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni on Saturday revealed that more foreign tourists, particularly from the Asia region, are returning to Thailand following an ease in the political tensions that have been affecting the nation.
Accordingly, Mr. Suraphon reasoned that many of Thailand’s premier tourism destinations were unaffected by the anti-government protests and as such tourism would begin to return at a steady rate up until the beginning of ‘high season’ when things are expected to return to normal.
A marked increase in tourism from the Asia region, specifically; Hong Kong, Japan, China, Korea and India has been put down to the fact that travel advisories have been lifted by most countries with the exception of, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Australia. The TAT also revealed that the return of European visitors may take longer as the current global economic crisis is still largely affecting their propensity to travel.
Domestic carriers and budget airlines have all reported an increase in seats filled on most of their routes, whilst Suvarnabhumi International Airport has released figures showing a return to a relatively normal ‘low season’ level of passenger thoroughfare. At present over 22,000 passengers are moving through Thailand’s major international airport whilst the normal ‘low season’ average is around 25,000.
Thailand’s signature international carrier, Thai Airways International (THAI), have reported that their ‘cabin factor’ (number of seats filled compared to capacity) has increased to a normal level after dropping as low as 55% on several international routes during the height of the political crisis in April and May.
THAI president Piyasavasti Amranand said that he is confident travellers will come back at the previous rate in the third and fourth quarters of 2010, admitting that the political chaos in May seriously affected the airline business. During the period, THAI experienced losses of approximately Bt3 billion.