BANGKOK, Jan. 9 -- The number of Chinese tourists coming to Bangkok is expected to drop by 70 percent this month as the current political turmoil poses risks to the tourism market, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand Piyaman Tejapaiboon said here on Thursday.
Chinese New Year traditionally brings a boost in Chinese tourism to Thailand, while fewer tourists from China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, are expected to celebrate the holiday here this year, he said.
The country welcomed about 100,000 Chinese tourists during the Chinese New Year last year, according to data.
As to the first month of this year, with the Spring Festival falling on Jan. 31, Bangkok would be hit the hardest with a 70 percent drop in Chinese tourist arrivals, followed by Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Phuket with 40 percent drop, respectively, Piyaman said.
Sugree Sithivanich, deputy governor for marketing communications at the Tourism Authority of Thailand expressed concern about the decline in short-haul passengers during Chinese New Year amid the political chaos, adding that safety is among their key concerns.
Chanapan Kaewklachaiyawuth, secretary-general of the Thai- Chinese Tourism Alliance Association, said the street rally would scare off the Chinese travelers until March.