The army imposed martial law on Tuesday and on Thursday Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha announced a military coup.
Both tourists and nationals are subject to a nationwide curfew that means they must not be in the street between 10pm and 5am. However, tourists planning to fly into or out of the country after 10pm will be an exception. These travelers will be allowed to move between the airport and their hotels.
Bangkok hotels reported significant performance decreases during the first quarter of 2014, affecting Thailand's overall performance, according to data from STR Global. Occupancy rates in the capital fell to 55.2% in Q1 2014 (compared to 79.7% in Q1 2013).
In February and March, Bangkok reported the lowest occupancy figures since August 2010. The greatest concern is the uncertainty of how long the conflict will last. However, International hotel investors remain confident in Thailand. The Royal Thai Army declared martial law shortly before dawn on 20 May, 2014, which coincided with the opening day of the high profile conference, which attracted more than 250 delegates from global hotel investment companies and financial institutions from 26 countries. The conference was held at Bangkok’s Dusit Thani Hotel and concluded on 21 May, 2014.
Investors agreed that the current political crisis in the kingdom would end soon, and that the great performance and the future potential of the hotel investment scene in Thailand was secure.
“I’ve been living in Phuket for five years and have also personally experienced the many ups and downs of Thailand’s economy and tourism industry since the economic crisis of 1997. Based on this experience, I strongly believe the crisis today means short-term pain but long-term gain. The markets will over-react initially but as for those living here in Thailand, they will know the situation is very normal. Indeed, this is a good time to invest in Thailand,” said Mr. Andreas Mattmϋller, Chief Operating Officer for the Middle East and Asia of Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts.
Mr. Sugree Sithivanich, Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications of the TAT said, “Its business as usual in Thailand. All tourist attractions and services, as well as airports, throughout Thailand are open and operating normally. Having said that, TAT is working very closely with all the concerned public and private sectors to ensure that visitors are in no way inconvenienced and can continue to enjoy the exciting offerings of Amazing Thailand.”
Photo by AFP