The leading think tank said the number of air passengers this year is projected at 46.2-46.8 million, down 14-15 per cent from last year’s 54.4 million, a drop of 4.8 per cent in the number of passengers.
KRC said that mounting concerns over the spread of influenza A (H1N1) worldwide would lead to a further decline in the number of foreign tourists and air passengers.
However, Thailand might turn the crisis into an opportunity if it comes up with efficient systems and measures to detect and prevent the spread of the deadly influenza, such as the strict examination of travellers, control of outbreak-prone areas, screening of suspects, and a contingency plan.
The measures, if successfully implemented, could help boost Thailand’s image and restore foreign tourist confidence in the country.
KRC said Thailand had earlier restored foreign tourist confidence when it curbed the spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and avian influenza (bird flu).
So, the current situation is a good opportunity for Thailand to attract foreign tourists again after the country experienced political violence during the recent Songkran festival. (TNA)