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Friday, June 6, 2014

Thailand: Forward bookings, insurance concern agents


by Ian Mcintosh - Travel Agent Update - on location in Bangkok

Ian Garritt, director of Venture Holidays
According to Ian Garritt, director of Venture Holidays, business from Australia to Thailand had been slipping for months before the latest political upheaval. We have received very few cancellations following the recent establishment by the military of the National Council for Peace and Order Mr Garritt said - but forward bookings are weak.

"As most insurance policies do not cover events like the overthrow of a government, booked travellers have few options."   A resident of Thailand, Mr Garritt said life quickly returned to normal in the capital.

Bookings to Bali are also down for us but the stats show traffic from Australia is actually up, Mr Garritt added. "This is probably due to the growth in online bookings. The airlines are increasingly pushing flight and accommodation deals," he added.

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Coup Coverage

Thai tourism authorities are looking at the idea of underwriting travel insurance policies. It seems this has been done before to reassure visitors all is well. The problem is particularly relevant to the luxury hotel and MICE segments of the market - companies are not prepared to accept any risk of any sort at a corporate level. Australians not covered at the coup have either travelled or delayed their trip - but new bookings are down and the insurance issue is obviously a key factor.

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