Thailand Bullish On Tourism After Muted Month For King's Death

Thailand bullish on tourism after muted month for king's death

CHIANG MAI, Thailand, , (Pakistan Point News - APP - 14th Nov, 2016 ) - Tourist arrivals to Thailand have not been hit by a strict mourning period for late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, authorities said Monday, as curbs on entertainment and celebration imposed since his death one month ago were eased. Bhumibol's death on 13 October after a seven-decade reign has sparked mass displays of grief and left the politically-divided nation without its only unifying figure.

The junta, which seized power in 2014, instituted an initial month-long mourning period, which lapsed on Monday. In the last month Thais have worn black or white, bars have closed early, many sporting events and concerts have been cancelled with television networks even ordered to pull soap operas from their schedules. The measures had raised fears that tourists would be deterred from visiting a country renowned for its wild nightlife and carefree atmosphere, just as peak visitor season gets into swing. But Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said a target set before the king's death of a record 32 million arrivals for 2016 -- up from 30 million last year -- remained in reach. "So far numbers have not dropped, that's from the surveys we did and from numbers from overseas offices," he told AFP.