Thailand unrest may begin eroding vital tourism industry

Jan. 5, 2014 at 11:23 AM

BANGKOK, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Singapore Airlines said Sunday it was reducing is schedule of flights into Thailand as political turmoil continues.

The move may indicate a crack in Thailand's thriving tourism industry, which the Wall Street Journal said had thus far not experienced much impact from the ongoing street protests and uncertainty.

The Journal said Sunday that may be changing. Singapore Airlines said its temporary flight cancellations this winter were due to flagging demand, and a Thai hotel association predicted a 5-percent decline in occupancy for 2014.

Tourists told the newspaper the sometimes-violent street demonstrations by anti-government protesters were largely out of sight to them; however analysts have warned that could change if the activists shift their focus to disrupting traffic or shutting down Bangkok's airport.

The Thai Chamber of Commerce recently advised its member companies to build up inventories and stockpiles of vital supplies in the event the unrest disrupts logistics.

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