Tourism Council of Thailand has called on  Thailand’s caretaker government to revoke the emergency decree claiming it will cost the country an estimated loss of Bt82 billion in tourism revenue.

The decree introduced 22 January is in place for 60 days, long enough to play havoc with tourism targets for six months or more. Its critics say it is a lame duck measure that cannot be executed effectively by a caretaker government. Protest leaders have said they will ignore the decree and government orders.

TCT president, Piyaman Techapaibul, called on the government to nullify the decree that caused at least three countries to upgrade their warnings on travel to the capital, last week.

She claimed Hong Kong, the United States and Australia had responded by raising the alert status.

The president noted that the situation will impact on tourism in the second quarter of this year especially in key Asian markets such as China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.

Revenue loss from tourism will exceed Bt50 billion in the first quarter based on an estimated drop of 1.1 million visits down 14% on a forecasted 6.5 million visits.

“Tourists are delaying their plans for fear of safety and this is already affecting second quarter booking that are now well off the pace.”

She estimated the loss was around 700,000 bookings or a revenue loss of Bt32 billion.

She added: “Revenue loss in the first two quarters could reach Bt82 billion…most affected areas are Bangkok and neighbouring destinations such as Pattaya, Hua Hin, Cha-am and Kanchanaburi.”

She called on the government and the People’s Democratic Reform Committee – to negotiate to end the conflict as soon as possible.

The Thai government imposed a 60-day state of emergency in Bangkok and surrounding provinces 22 January to help contain a protest movement that has block parts of the capital since 13 January.

The Emergency Decree covers Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Bangplee district of Samut Prakan, and Lad Lumkaew district of Pathum Thani province, just north of the capital.