THE TOURISM Authority of Thailand (TAT) says it is too early to determine the impact of ongoing floods on the country’s tourism industry, even as rising water levels threaten to reach Bangkok and reports emerge that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has ordered government agencies to prepare to evacuate people.
According to TAT governor Suraphon Svetasreni, Ayuthaya has been the only key tourist destination to be affected thus far, with sightseeing tours of the ancient capital diverted to the Ancient City outdoor museum in Samut Prakan, and the TAT Ayuthaya office relocated to TAT headquarters in Bangkok.
Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya and Koh Samui, as well as Suvarnabhumi and other major airports remain accessible, he added.
Suraphon said: “The TAT overseas offices have reported no cancellations in the short-term, and forward bookings and charter flights scheduled for the high season starting November remain intact.”
Suraphon added that there had been enquiries on the flood situation from the French and German markets, which are key contributors to Ayuthaya, staying one night on average during the high season.
Meanwhile, the flood has prompted 15 source markets – Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and the US – to issue travel advisories ranging from level one to four, one rung below the maximum level five.