Somboon Jirayus, the president of Phuket Tourism Business Association, said that the protests by Nor Por Chor/National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship or ‘red shirts’ had affected the overall tourism business in Phuket and other parts of Thailand. The number of hotel bookings has slightly reduced after the protest began; however, potential overseas tourists were not sure how safe it was traveling to Phuket even though the island is far from the protest center in Bangkok. Therefore this group of tourists might change their destinations to Malaysia or Indonesia.
At the airport, the numbers of charter flights from China also decreased. If the political crisis still continues, some airlines might cancel their flights to Thailand. Somboon mentioned it was good news that the government and Nor Por Chor had met to discuss direct possible solutions for the crisis. Yet he did not agree if PM Abhisit decided to dissolve the parliament, since it would certainly affect the recovery of Thailand’s economy. He suggested that both parties had to set up a framework to move Thai politics forward and prevent a similar problem.