Industry on gov't coup in Thailand: No impact on business so far


Although the Thai military overthrew the government in a bloodless coup, the U.S. State Dept. did not post a warning and U.S. tour operators report that business is continuing as usual with no cancellations thus far.

In fact, the 17th military coup in Thailand since 1932 -- the first since 1991 -- barely seems to have raised an eyebrow.

"They're pretty familiar with coups there," said Bob Drumm, president of General Tours. "The minute something like that happens, they get the blessing of the king, and that calms everything down."

Drumm said General Tours contacted its clients in Thailand and "everything is smooth -- no difficulty, no cancellations, nothing."

According to Asia World, General Tours' destination management company in Thailand, "The situation in Bangkok [on Sept. 20, the day after the coup] is perfectly normal. All transportation, business and government functions are operating as usual."


Abercrombie & Kent likewise reported no disruptions as a result of the coup. "There have been changes in government like this before," said Pamela Lassers, Abercrombie & Kent's director of media relations, "It's not unusual."

Lassers told that family members of customers had called A&K, and the company had given its clients in Thailand an opportunity to call home, but that so far the coup has had "no impact on travel in Thailand. So far it looks like everyone has continued with their itinerary."

According to Dennis Tan, the executive director of A&K's office in Thailand, "On the streets of Bangkok, it is business as usual. Public transport, shops, stores, tourist sites, restaurants, etc., are all open for business. The airport is operating on a normal flight schedule. Local [television] channels have resumed normal broadcast."

In the meantime, according to Small Luxury Hotels of the World, which operates 20 properties in Thailand, it is "business as usual" in the country "despite recent political activities." The collection reported that all facilities and services at its properties are "fully operational and travelers should feel safe and confident to continue travel as originally planned."

The Pacific Asia Travel Association, which has its main headquarters in Bangkok, maintained that travel and tourism facilities and services were operating normally throughout the country.

"Even before this political crisis in Thailand comes to a resolution, we at PATA feel that it is important to send a clear message to the global travel industry that, so far at least, the situation here is calm and non-violent," said President and CEO Peter de Jong, via e-mail to its members.

PATA will update its Web site, at, with updated Thailand tourism information as it becomes available.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand had not yet prepared a statement at press time.

To contact reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].


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