Travel News: Thailand insures tourists’ vacations
Thailand is continuing to offer insurance coverage worth $10,000 to anyone who might be harmed in riots and demonstrations as it seeks to attract tourists scared off by political turmoil, officials say.
Other carrots range from a waiver on all visa fees to discounts on airline landing fees.
Thailand has been plagued by political conflict since the ouster of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a 2006 military coup.
In 2009, the number of tourists dropped to 14.1 million, an 8% decrease from the previous year while revenue shrank to 527 billion baht ($16 billion), a 3% drop from 2008. Tourism is the country’s leading foreign currency earner.
The free insurance coverage was put in place initially after Bangkok’s two airports were seized in late 2008. Hundreds of thousands of tourists were stranded in the country.
Tourism and Sports Ministry spokesman Vachara Kannikar said the $10,000 coverage was extended until the end of the year.