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Boat tragedy ‘unlikely to hamper tourism’

The tour boat catastrophe in Phuket was unlikely to harm the Thai tourism industry, but the government must respond to it decisively, the chief economist at Siam Commercial Bank said on Monday.

 

In the short run, Yunyong Thaicharoen said, the government has to investigate the cause of the accident in which a dive boat sank in rough seas, leaving 42 Chinese tourists dead and another 14 missing.

The government must also rebuild confidence among tourists, demonstrating that lessons were learned from this tragedy and steps taken to prevent a recurrence, he suggested.

No pre-booked tours have been cancelled since the accident, but it is now low tourist season, Yunyong noted.

He said Thailand would likely welcome 38.2 million foreign visitors this year, up 8 per cent over 2017.

Tourism grew by 13 per cent in the first five months of this year and 27 per cent among Chinese travellers.

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