Escalating tensions between Pyongyang and Seoul have not hurt travel sentiment among Thais who have already planned trips to South Korea.
Thai tourists throng Nami Island, one of the many popular South Korean destinations included on a tour programme for Thai travellers. The island served as a setting for the popular Korean TV series ‘Winter Love Song’. WALAILAK KEERATIPIPATPONG
The Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) claims no cancellations for bookings to that country.
"Thai tourists are not scared about the possibility of nuclear attacks on South Korea even if the rhetoric is hotting up. Thais remain eager to go to there, while Korean tourists still visit Thailand as planned," said secretary-general Charoen Wangananont.
An employee at Across Travel & Leisure Tour said her clients do not care about tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
ATTA president Susdivachr Cheewarattanaporn admitted prolonged tension on the peninsula may deter some Korean travellers.
"But if the situation does not turn violent, we're confident Koreans will still travel here. Korean tourist arrivals to Thailand rank sixth," he said.
Sansern Ngaorungsi, the Tourism Authority of Thailand's deputy governor for international marketing for Asia and the South Pacific, said the TAT has assigned its office in Seoul to monitor the situation.
The low-cost airline Eastar Jet opened a twice-a-week charter service from Inchon airport to Suvarnabhumi this past Monday, reflecting robust demand.
"Five low-cost airlines usually operate between Thailand and South Korea," said Mr Sansern.
Last year, tourist arrivals from South Korea increased by 16.8% to 1.169 million, a 5.23% share of total arrivals.
The TAT expects Korean arrivals to grow by 13% this year. The first two months, arrivals rose 22% to 2.47 million.
About the author
- Writer: Chadamas Chinmaneevong