This 4-star hotel is typical of many. Bookings fell through the floor during Thailand’s political unrest and military takeover. Bangkok saw its popularity plummet, dropping out of the top ten best cities list after being voted No. 1 for the past four years. CCTV’s Martin Lowe reports from Bangkok.
In the first six months of the year, the number of tourists visiting Thailand fell by ten per cent, to just over eleven and a half million. Earnings were down six and a half per cent, a loss to the economy of around a billion U.S. dollars.
The political situation has now calmed and analysts say that’s a message Thailand must get out, particularly to countries which have been critical of recent events.
Bangkok is down but perhaps not out. Many here believe its heady mix of ancient temples, modern hotels, diverse food, exotic nightlife and 24-hour shopping will soon tempt visitors once again to return.
With more than half of Thailand’s tourists being repeat visitors, it has an enduring appeal. But it’s expected it’ll be next year at the earliest, before numbers begin to get back to normal.