My flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok last Sunday, 26 January 2014, was almost full amid earlier news that someone was killed as a result of the ongoing anti-government demonstrations. The nearly-full flight was the first indication that tourism in Bangkok is being conducted as usual.
Upon arrival, I was even more shocked to see the amount of people queuing at Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi Airport’s Immigration Lines. If Bangkok Tourism is suffering as the result of political instability, at least it isn’t to the degree that other destinations going through similar conundrum. So it seemed.
On Silom Road, vendors were doing business as usual. Patpong was thriving with crowds of tourists walking through the famous night market street. The only difference this time around for me was the presence of huge speakers placed in several spots on Silom Road projecting the ongoing demonstrations. There were several speeches, but I heard mostly musical performances, even at 2am.
Transportation-wise, there has been a slight change as well. Mopeds are currently the kings of the roads on Bangkok’s streets. They offer a faster alternative to getting somewhere for single travelers, as they easily can weave through the congestion from traffic and demonstrations. They, of course, are charging more than Tutktuk and taxi drivers.
To gain a better understanding of the demonstrations’ impact on Bangkok Tourism, I sat down with the general manager of Centara Grand Ladprao, Andre Brulhart, whose hotel property is in close proximity to one of the demonstration sites.
Watch the below eTN 2.0 presentation to find out what he has to say.
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