April 17, 2009

Tourism unravels with unrest in Thailand

The president of Thailand's Federation of Tourism, Kongkrit Hirankij, said social unrest could cost the country $5.6 billion in lost business.

Political turmoil, resulting in travel advisories issued by a number of state departments, has cut down the number of tourists by 25 percent in the first quarter of the year, he said.

He predicted the decline would reach 40 percent in the second quarter, the Thai News Agency reported Friday.

The Federation said 10 percent of the workforce in the country, 257,000 workers, could be forced out of their jobs due to the disturbances that included disruption of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Pattaya this week.