Khao San road hotels are fully booked by the Thai-nation guest
THAIS have booked all the budget hotels in Bangkok’s Khao San Road precinct – normally for foreign back pack tourists – during the period of the Royal Cremation ceremonies that begins today.
Thais started booking rooms in May and June to ensure participation in the Royal Cremation ceremonies for His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, from October 25-29, said Sanga. Surprisingly, about half the bookings are from Bangkok residents, with the rest from other provinces, he said. Together, they have booked almost 100 percent of the 800 rooms available in Khao San Road, an area that was put on the international tourist trail by backpackers. Foreign tourists were expected to return to the precinct after the end of the mourning period, Sanga said. The tourism high season has just begun and will last until April when tourists flock to celebrate the Songkran Festival in Khao San Road. Sanga expects to see a rising number of foreign tourists during this high season, particularly from Europe and Asia. European travelers account for 70 percent of the tourists who stay in Khao San hotels, with the rest mainly from Asia.
Tourism spending dropped about 30 percent this month as outdoor entertainment was temporarily closed, as well as with the month-long closure of the Grand Palace – the most popular drawcard for tourists – near the Khao San area.
Sanga estimates about 50,000 people will stay in the Khao San area during the Royal Cremation period, as people want to stay close to the ceremonies and ensure they have a chance to pay their last respects to their beloved late King.
Vichit Prakobgosol, president of the Thai Association of Travel Agents, said the number of tourists visiting Thailand this year was expected to reach 35 million, up from 32 million last year. Source: Nation