The intensity of Thailand’s mourning over the death of beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej could lead to a tourism slowdown in the country. Travel companies are on the lookout for a possible slower tourism rate on the “Land of Smiles” as its government requested for avoiding celebration of “joyful events” in the country for a month.
Thailand’s loss leads to cancellation for entertainment, sports, cultural events
The government called on the nation to avoid joyous occasions for 30 days and to dress in mourning for a year, The Taipei Times reported. The announcement, which prohibits partying and drinking alcohol in public, comes in reverence of the death of the Thailand King, who died on Oct. 14.
The closure and cancellation of nightlife venues and other entertainment events resulted to a disappointment among several vacation-goers who had been visiting the country. However, the biggest blow among the shutdowns for the tourists would probably the cancellation of the Full Moon Party, an all-night beach bash held every full moon on the island of Koh Pha Ngan.
Aside from the entertainment events, sports and cultural events have been cancelled or postponed as well. Many of the country's websites and TV stations have gone completely black-and-white out also in respect for the fallen king. Monochrome footage of King Bhumibol’s life has dominated the airwaves, Mashable reported.
Travel companies brace for impact on Thailand tourism
Meanwhile, airlines, tour agents and cruise operators in Asia are bracing for a possible tourism slowdown in Thailand. Travel companies, including Hana Tour Service Inc., the biggest tour operator in South Korea, expect potential consequences for their business during the mourning period.
However, sought for comment, a Kuala Lumpur-based analyst said he is not anticipating a significant impact on tourism in Thailand since travelers across the world have become immune to political developments in the country. He estimated that the number of tourists in Thailand will shoot up to 33 million this year, up from about 30 million in 2015.
Thailand has long been a favorite destination for European and Asian tourists, who are drawn to Bangkok’s nightlife and southwest island resorts, such as Phuket. The Southeast Asian nation’s tourism has been greatly fueled by holidaymakers from China which accounts for at least 10 percent of the countrys GDP (gross domestic product).
Here are some of the reactions on the temporary shutdown and cancellation of tourism places and events in Thailand:
If you have plans to stay in Thailand for vacation, do it after a year. Today is not the right time.— คุณเดลอน (@adlserino) October 14, 2016
“Western tourists mourn the money they wasted on their vacation in Thailand.” https://t.co/B0Ft0WaKZT— J.P. Mercado (@jprmercado) October 15, 2016
I'm on vacation in Thailand and wrote about what it was like to find out the king died. Be sensitive y'all https://t.co/bjGOTvl8kO— Lindsay Deutsch (@lindsdee) October 13, 2016
What do you think of the possible impact of King Bhumibol’s death on Thailand’s tourism? Let us know in the comments section below.