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Across the country security is being stepped up after two homemade bombs went off in Bangkok’s shopping district.
Prayut Chan o cha, the Prime Minister said that martial law would been to be retained following the incident. This was the first case of blasts in the capital since last May during the protests. However Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said that martial law was still needed to maintain peace even if the incident on Sunday had not occurred.
The business sector has voiced its concerns over possible impacts on tourism and investors, in response Supawan Tanomkieatipume, marketing chief for the Thai Hotels Association siad that although the incident may affect tourism during the upcoming Chinese New Year festival it is not expected to have any long term impact. He said “though no lives were taken, it might still destroy the country’s image and confidence of tourists. However, there is nothing major to worry about at the moment, as there have been no cancellations or queries from partners overseas”
Chinese New Year in February generally draws millions of people to the country. “Hotel operators have already received a lot of advance bookings from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, as well as many other countries from Asia,” she said.
Supawan went on to say that tourism had bounced back last month, thanks to more tourists from Asia, even though arrivals from the West remained slow. She added that tourists from Japan are expected to return this month.
According to Ittirit Kinglake, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), tourism operators were not too worried about the bomb attack as they believe the incident was not meant to cause much damage, but just to annoy people.