Widely know as the Land of Smiles, or simply LOS, these days there are very few people smiling in Thailand as the ongoing political turmoil deteriorates by the day. From the northern city of Chiang Mai to the southern holiday island of Phuket, tour operators and owners of businesses in the tourism sector are already […]
The head of Thailand’s tourism promotion authority has predicted the bloody and violent clashes between police and anti-government People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protesters last Monday (Oct. 7, 2008) will have an insignificant effect on the country‚Äôs tourism.
While the head of the Tourism Authority of Thailand was describing Thailand as a safe, desirable and peaceful country, and explaining that the protests were evidence of a democracy in action, peaceful and localised, people were being killed, having limbs blown, and home-made bombs exploding as hundreds of ant-riot police attempted to clear a way into Parliament House, firing up to 50 rounds of CS (tear) gas into thousands of yellow-shirted PAD protesters who had blockaded and fortified the legislature with barbed wire and tyre blockades.
Women have been hardest hit by Asia’s economic crisis, according to the annual economic survey by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). It is estimated that women, who formed 90 per cent of the textiles and electronics industries, represent 80 per cent of the unskilled labourers who have been retrenched.
Once the concrete pouring capital of the world with seemingly more concrete trucks travelling its urban roads than motorbikes, Bangkok today more closely resembles a giant Meccano set. Tower cranes still dot the horizon, providing an image of industrious expansion, but the truth is that many of these projects have come either to a resounding halt or have seen workforces scaled back and construction proceed at painfully slow rates.