Will Cancellation of State of Emergency Fix Tourism?
Thai Prime Ministers Abhisit Vejjajiva's cancellation of the recently declared State of Emergency is a strong political statement but will their be an immediate impact on the countries floundering tourism industry? More then likely the answer is threefold with yes, no and maybe all applying. First the good news is that most foreign governments have removed travel advisories though there remain some in place and others still flag caution for those visiting the Kingdom.
There are heightened fears that the return to normal may encourage the 'red shirt' activists to continue to their high profile protests. While in a nut shell this now is set to become a test of Thailand and the Prime Minister's ability to restore order and perhaps take on a role of rebuilding a damaged image abroad.
Phuket is shaping up to be on the world and national stage as it is set to host the rescheduled Asean Summit in June. Within the last week speaking to local property agents sentiment about the 'red shirt' incident has spurred more sellers then buyers of real estate, with one larger agency stating the day previously they received 5 inquiries but all were those seeking to sell rather then buy property. As we move into what is traditionally low tourism season here on the island, at the very least damage has been mitigated with the Bangkok events happening on the cusp of what very well may be some challenging times ahead.