The political unrest since March 2010 will be a major factor reducing the growth of the tourism industry over the remainder of 2010. If this turmoil continues, it will force the government to undertake emergency measures to curb the violence, then foreign tourists and tour agencies, who are monitoring the situation, may hesitate to book trips to Thailand this year. It is expected that the tourism in Bangkok will be affected the most.
In the overall outlook for tourism in 2010, KASIKORN RESEARCH CENTER (KResearch) views if the situation eases within 1H10 and allows some time for running public relations programs to revive foreign tourism bookings in 3Q10, it is possible that the number of foreign visitors may grow 5.5 percent, against the former forecast made early in 2010 of 10-percent growth.
On the other hand, if the situation spills over into 2H10, it may erode the confidence of foreign travelers toward public safety, causing the number of foreign tourists to contract for the second consecutive year at (-)1.0 percent – based on a scenario of no airport seizures – because confidence would then be irrecoverable by the high season.
Aside from political conflict, the number of foreign visitors would also likely depend on the authorities' efforts toward restoring our tourism image. Precisely planned activities at the right time would likely help spur foreign tourist arrivals over the remainder of 2010, perhaps giving a sufficient boost to match our tourism growth targets.