Thailand tourism declines as tourists cancel Phuket hotel room bookings

 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 


Phuket-bookingsPhuket that is based in Thailand has been witnessing a challenging period in the last few weeks as a large number of hotel room bookings have been cancelled by Chinese tourists.


This dramatic shift follows a tragic boat accident on July 5when 47 tourists who were all Chinese, were killed.


The boat known as the Phoenix’ had capsized off the coast of popular tourist island Phuket. In its official statement the Royal Thai Marine Corps mentioned that the Phoenix had sunk seven kilometers from the shore and the boat had sunk to a depth of nearly 38-40 metres or yards.


Chinese tourists make up large swathes of the tourist numbers to Phuket with three million people visiting the island every year.


Out of the 105 passengers on the boat that capsized, 93 were Chinese.


The negative impacts of the accident are more grave and widespread than have been previously thought.


So far, 7,300 hotel room bookings for July and August have been cancelled by Chinese tourists – and it’s believed this number is set to rise.


Kongsak Kupongsakorn who is president of the Southern Hoteliers’ Association, said 19 member hotels had already reported their cancellations while another 160 hotels have yet to file their reports, according to Straits Times, a Singaporean newspaper.


Hotel room cancellations are estimated to account for 10 to15 per cent of the total business in Phuket.


Lost tourism and related revenues over the next two months could cost Thailand as much as Bt42 billion (£952 million), said Chiaya Rapuepol, president of the Andaman Sea tourism business association.


Thailand is in the midst of its monsoon season which begins in May and usually ends in October.


The monsoon season often brings high winds to coastal areas and flash storms.


More than 20 people were killed when a tourist boat carrying 150 people capsized in Thailand’s ancient city of Ayutthaya in 2016.


Officials blamed the accident on overcrowding and reckless piloting.


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