Tourism Industry News

Thai tourism sees 200,000 job losses over crisis

14/04/2009 13:25

Thailand's battered tourism sector could shed up to 200,000 jobs this year, industry experts warned as violent street battles in Bangkok triggered mass cancellations.


Anti-government demonstrators who forced the cancellation of a major Asian summit on the weekend shifted their campaign to the capital, clashing with security forces Monday in defiance of a state of emergency.


Apichart Sankary, president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, said that television images beamed around the world of troops firing volleys of gunfire to disperse protesters had alarmed potential visitors.


"Layoffs are inevitable. We may lose up to 200,000 people this year if the situation is not resolved," he said, appealing to the government to resolve the turmoil as soon as possible.


Bewildered tourists in Bangkok said they feared for their safety, while others were irritated that major shopping centres were shuttered as protesters loyal to ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra rampaged through the capital.


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