Bangkok Update: Demonstrations Hurting Tourism Sector

Thailand's Red Shirts are being urged by the private sector to call a halt to their anti-government demonstrations.

Otherwise, the country's tourism industry will suffer during the upcoming Songkran holidays next month. Also known as the Water Festival, Songkran is celebrated in various parts of Southwest Asia.

It is even practised in a few areas of mainland China. During the festival, locals and tourists alike arm themselves with water pistols, buckets, and hoses and basically splash each other with water. The private sector has urged the anti-government demonstrators currently staging a mass rally in the capital to end their activity as soon as possible before it affects tourism during Songkran holidays in April.

Charoen Wongananont, president of the Thai Travel Agents Association, says that the number of reservations for tour packages and accommodations has continued to drop since the rallies were launched. Many

Thai families have canceled trips school application and examination dates are still undecided owing to the on-going crisis. According to Prakit Chinamornphong, president of the Thai Hotels Association, the protests have become a big problem for the tourism sector.

If they continue beyond today, they are likely affect the number of inbound tourists visiting the country during the Songkran holidays. The number of hotel bookings in Bangkok is continuing to decline. Many hotels are also reorting early check outs. 

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