BANGKOK (Tourism Authority of Thailand) - Foreign tourist arrivals to Thailand in the months of January and February this year rose significantly over the same period of 2005, according to statistics compiled by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). The total of 1,734,508 arrivals at Bangkok International Airport in the two months was a 33.97% increase.
The markets expected by TAT to have good growth during the course of 2006 are China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Russia, the U.K., Sweden, and India. However, the ongoing political demonstrations in the country in March are beginning to impact travel from certain markets, particularly China and Singapore where travel cancellations have been reported by airlines and tour operators. Of these markets, Singapore appears to be the most susceptible to the charged political climate as protests in front of the Singaporean Embassy have contributed to the cancellations. Some Thai companies have reported cancellations by Chinese travellers coming to Thailand in April, while travel by Japanese tourists appears to be slowing down as they wait for the political situation in Thailand to unfold.
Meanwhile, the European and American markets are not affected as they regard political demonstrations a normal occurrence of a democratic country.
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