Poll: Thai tourism not effected by martial law

Bankok – Most tourists to Thailand have not considered martial law, currently enforced nationwide, as an obstacle to their visits to the southeast Asian country, reported an opinion poll on Tuesday.

According to a Bangkok University’s poll recently carried out with 1,044 visiting foreigners, 70 percent of the respondents said they had not viewed martial law, imposed since the May 22 military coup, which deposed an elected government, as a deterrent to their decisions to travel to Thailand, compared to 30 percent who considered otherwise.

Most made up their mind to travel to Thailand with the intention to see and admire its culture, arts and traditions, followed by 17 percent who had intended to see its tropical seas and islands and stay at beach resorts, according to the poll.

Tourism and Sports Minister Korbkarn Watanawarakura said that martial law has not adversely affected tourism anywhere and that no business sectors especially those dealing in tourism had called for an end to it as yet.

Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha repeatedly commented that “political undertons” currently persist, albeit in a hidden fashion, and patiently waiting to instigate a mass uprising against his military-led government, thus necessitating the prolongment of martial law.

Besides, according to the strongman who orchestrated the coup himself, varied sides of society might possibly confront and provoke each other and finally trigger bloodsheds and chaos in the country, given their opposing and uncompromising political views.

He concluded that the prolonged conflict in Bangkok’s streets and elsewhere in the provinces which, he said, could possibly have escalated into civil war, had prompted him to seize power and try his best to prevent it.

According to the poll, 86 percent of the respondents considered Thailand a safe destination, compared to 2.4 percent who deemed reversely and 11.5 percent undecided.

The poll found 92 percent of the responding visitors saying they will come back again and they will recommend to their friends and relatives to travel to Thailand.

It also found 22 percent complaining about taxi and tuk-tuk ( tricycle taxi) having overcharged their fares or having taken detours while 15 percent moaned over traffic jams in the capital.

However, 12 percent of the respondents complained about troubles in communicating in English with Thai people, said the poll. Source: Xinhua