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Flooding Ebbs in Bangkok but Tourism Outlook Is GrimOctober 31, 2011 By: Meagan Drillinger
While the flooding in Thailand may have reached its peak in Bangkok, the city's tourism industry is starting to feel the effects. According to Voice of America, Bangkok's artery, the Chao Phraya River, passed its peak stage on Monday, "raising hopes that central Bangkok will be spared by the flooding that has already inundated much of the city's northern and western suburbs."
Many hotels in Bangkok are being hurt in the wake of the flood. "We are only running at 30 percent of our capacity, out of 802 guest rooms," Rashana Pimolsindh, director of communications for Bangkok's Shangri-La Hotel tells the Wall Street Journal. "We usually are filled at about 70 percent to 90 percent of our capacity during this time of year."
The U.S. is just one of the countries that has warned against unnecessary travel to Bangkok, including Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.
Although many of Bangkok's tourist areas remain dry, much of the northern and western neighborhoods are completely inundated. In addition, CNN is reporting that charities in Thailand are warning of the risk of water- and insect-born diseases in the coming weeks due to the flooding. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said she hoped that floodwaters could be drained through Bangkok more quickly now that peak high tides have passed, reports Seattle Pi.
Bangkok's domestic Don Mung airport remains closed until tomorrow, however the international Suvarnabhumi Airport remains open. Cathay Pacific has issued special ticketing guidelines for passengers with confirmed bookings involving flights to and from Bangkok. Rebooking charges will be waived for all tickets issued worldwide on or before Oct.25 with confirmed bookings involving Bangkok between Oct. 25 and Nov. 2. Such requests must be made on or before Nov. 2 and the revised travel date must be on or before Nov. 30. There is no waiver on cancellation, refund or rerouting charges.
Travel Agent spoke with Steve Born, vice president of marketing for the Globus family of brands, last week who told us, "The flooding in Thailand is something we have been monitoring very closely with our on-site operations team. And, we're happy to report that, at this point, none of our clients have been affected by the floods. Further, we do not anticipate any needed changes to our upcoming Globus and Monograms scheduled itineraries, based on the feedback we've received from our team in Thailand."
Stay tuned to more updates at www.travelagentcentral.com.