Muang, Thailand (PressExposure) February 25, 2009 -- This is the message from a popular web travel guide series on the country, http://www.1stopthailand.com, which suggests that travellers are still planning their holidays to Thailand in similar numbers prior to the current season.
Webstats from this popular set of sites, which reaches more than a million potential Thailand visitors annually, indicate that interest in the country during January rebounded remarkably well. This follows a stark 25 per cent sudden drop in visitors during and after the seizure of the countryâs main airport by political protesters in early December.
âEveryone had basically written off this seasonâ says 1stopthailand Managing Director, Andrew Bond; âBut surprisingly people are still interested in coming to Thailand in 2009, despite recession warningsâ.
With local businesses and hotels reporting slow business in December, occupancy rates and tour bookings seem to have picked up in January, as Thailandâs lucrative tourist industry demonstrates resilience to negative publicity. Just one month ago more than a dozen countries had issued travel advisory warnings to Thailand in anticipation of an explosive political standoff.
âWeâve had coups, bird flu, a tsunami and near political meltdown, and yet visitors are still confident enough to keep coming, I think it shows what a popular place this country is, these things blow over very quickly, people arenât going to suddenly scratch Thailand off the listâ, says Bond.
Visitor figures for http://www.1stoppattaya.com, one of the more popular of the seriesâ sites, actually show an increase of interest so far for 2009. The cityâ fortunes are directly linked to Suvarnabhumi airport, which was completely closed to more than a millions passengers during the first week of December, and is just one hour away from this resort town. However, the number of people planning a visit online to Pattaya this year has not decreased.