Yesterday our friends at Skift revealed that media coverage doesn’t necessarily inspire tourists to pick certain travel destinations. On the other hand, extremely negative coverage would definitely influence our decision not to visit certain locales.
Times have been tough for Thailand’s tourist industry ever since its May 22 coup. Turns out that martial law makes it hard for tourists to purchase travel insurance — so the number of visitors to Thailand dropped more than 10 percent during the first eight months of 2014.
That’s quite a drop a country whose tourist industry makes up about 10 percent of its economy, but it wasn’t a lethal drop. After all, adventure-seeking tourists were still free to travel sans insurance, and plans were in the works to lift martial law in the country’s more leisure-inclined, less revolutionary areas.
However, following news of the murder of two British tourists earlier this week, Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha is accurately acknowledging “all sorts of consequences” for Thailand in the future.
“We have ordered police and soldiers to hunt down the suspects,” Prayuth told reporters.
“What you (the media) need to do is explain to foreigners that it is not always safe everywhere. They think it’s safe like where they are from, everywhere and at any time, but our country still has problems.”
Thankfully, Prayuth is using the awful news to inform the public instead of spinning it into some ill-conceived marketing campaign like others to the south.