...it seems that Thailand is making it very difficult for tourists as of late, and considering how much money they get (and scam) out of tourist it all seems more stupid. Visa changes, bank charges, riots?!! Not quite as appealing as it was a few years ago is it.
Anyway, I’m planning my trip there with my wife and baby to meet her grand parents in January next year so I don’t think I will book anything to far in advance now.
Let wait and see what else happens.
I think it largely comes down to the fact that the Thai government largely runs as a series of fiefdoms run by the bureaucrats, there isn't a government in power for more than two years so the departments run themselves more or less and make decisions that contradict other departments. Hence changes to the visa rules every four months while simultaneously trying to market tourism. But then thailand has said in the past it would prefer "high class tourists" I think in ideal world the thai government would just prefer it if you mailed your wallet and never came but perhaps I'm being cynical.
#3 dageshi has been a member since 1/3/2008. Posts: 56
Thailand has done itseld on favours this decade - agreed - but the numbers of tourists have increased virtually every year - only now with a world recession is there a reduction and that is probably less than many of its neighbours and competitors.
#4 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
"Only now with a world recession is there a (tourism) reduction..." ?
What about the tens of thousands of protesters storming the streets of Bangkok, torching busses and such last month, and tens of thousands of other protesters occupying the Bangkok airports last year, stranding tourists and using them as political pawns? I'm guessing those things had something to do with the reduction too...
On the bright side, my visa to Thailand in April was free, and I think they're giving away free visas until the end of this month.
It's a tough call concerning cause and effect. Certainly the global economy is a contributing factor, but the airport protests also had a serious impact. Even now some people (as witnessed by this thread) wonder if they should risk going to Thailand and getting stranded. While you and I know that's highly unlikely, and risk of accident or other mishap is much more probable, it plays in peoples minds. I suspect Thailand has lost some serious revenues from the political turmoil, but it shouldn't be lasting impact unless there are more difficulties down the road. If the Red and Yellow factions can begin to recognize rule of law and respect election results, then things should stabilize from a tourism point of view.
When in Chiang Mai in April (last), the 4 and 5 star hotels were almost empty (in fact, one had closed its doors and referring its customers to another hotel).
I've the feeling that the 'spur of the moment' traveller has decided to avoid Thailand, and the current travellers in Thailand reflect those that have set their minds to being there, and started the planning much earlier. Increasingly, I got the view that many (under 4 star) travellers doing the preparatory work from late 2008 to early 2009 would have decided to avoid Thailand 'in case'.
So, the reduction in tourist numbers may yet to become fully apparent.
I wrote on the background of the subject on:
(the last post, as of today).
These articles do show a different story on the background than that appearing in the daily media.
I'm in Chang Mai now, and have been in Thailand for almost a month. I am supprised that I have not seen more tourists maybe the events in Bangkok have had more of an imediate impact. I started to plan my trip in March and as an independent traveller changing plans or routes can easily be done by the hour if nessasary, so the rioting didn't put me off, although I was following the situation closley. As the level of tourist numbers appear to be dropping the scaming I would say will intensify to compensate for this. I also thought that when I arrived at Bangkok mid afternoon it was so quiet which I found bizzar for a major international airport.
#8 Skimonkey has been a member since 16/4/2009. Posts: 40
Heard on the ABC[Aus] news this morning that gunmen had stormed a Mosque in one of the Southern Provinces and murdered 11 people.In Australia you hear very little about the trouble in the Southern Provinces and the only way I know about it is by reading the Bangkok Post.As this has made the news and,no doubt,the papers a lot of people are going to hear about it, causing the average tourist to do some hard thinking about a Thai holiday.The government has got plenty of problems at the moment what with all the other happenings over the past year or so.
This subject has come up before. In general it doesn't seem like a serious issue. Millions move through that airport, and incident rate is low. Just be smart - obviously the store issue here is one that you should pay attention to.
But in general Thailand is not a dangerous destination and abuse at the hands of the police is not likely. Smile, be nice... and don't do anything really stupid and you should be OK.
I agree Madmac. But the Thai's do seem to shoot theirselves in the foot a lot of times. I figure that's why they call it "Amazing Thailand". As for the problems in the south, I don't recall a tourist ever being targeted. I think they did have a hotel bombing at some point last year. Yet as Bruce, says the "spur of the moment" traveler will just read the headlines and stay away. I myself do not see a reconciliation between the reds, yellow and now blue shirts anytime soon.
#13 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386
"But in general Thailand is not a dangerous destination and abuse at the hands of the police is not likely. Smile, be nice... and don't do anything really stupid and you should be OK."
Glad the post created some reaction.
At no point did I say I was worried about this type of incident, but certainly something to be aware of. I posted it to follow up from Jon_Mak_Mak's origonal posting, as it seams to me like another string in this particular bow (refering to the thread title). Thus this kind of coverage can only futher damage the already waning tourist numbers.
I'd like to think I have an understanding of and respect for each place I visit. I'm not the clown type, although I can juggle.
Take it easy.
#17 Skimonkey has been a member since 16/4/2009. Posts: 40