Tourists Arrivals Drop More Than 10 Percent

 | Thu 16 Oct 2014 17:55 ICT

CityNews – The number of foreigners visiting Thailand has dropped dramatically, reports said this week.
Chiang Mai tourism businesses remain upbeat, despite a drop in the number of people visiting Thailand. Photo: CityNews.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports says 17.5 million foreign tourists visited the country in the first nine months of the year – a reduction of 10.28 percent compared to the same period last year.

This follows the May 22 military coup, the brutal murder of two British tourists on the resort island of Koh Tao, and a string of bizarre comments from senior officials.

Junta head General Prayuth Chan-ocha suggested that only unattractive women should wear bikinis on Thailand’s beaches, and the tourism minister said foreign tourists might be given wristbands to wear.

However, Pornchai Jitnavasathien, president of the Chiang Mai Tourist Business Association, remained confident, pointing out that most visitors are Chinese and the city also sees many domestic tourists. It is ready to welcome visitors, and government agencies are cooperating to ensure their safety, he told CityNews.

Meanwhile, a two-day event will be held in Chiang Mai’s Chinatown tomorrow and Saturday, with the aim of attracting more Chinese tourists.

The event – the first of its kind in Chiang Mai – will feature an exhibition on Thailand-China relations, various Thai-Chinese cultural performances, Thai-Chinese food stalls and the Miss Chiang Mai-China 2014 pageant, the National News Bureau of Thailand reported.