Tourism operators have expressed relief and optimism for the industry after the army-imposed curfew was lifted in 32 more areas nationwide. On Tuesday night, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) ended the midnight-4am curfew in Kanchanaburi; Ratchaburi; Phetchaburi’s Muang, Khao Yoi, Nong Ya Plong, Tha Yang, Ban Lat, Ban Laem and and Kang Krachan districts; Rayong; Chanthaburi; Trat’s Muang, Khao Saming, Bo Rai, Laem Ngop, Khlong Yai and Koh Kut districts; Nakhon Phanom; Sakon Nakhon; Roi Et; Loei; Surin; Tak; Sukhothai; Mae Hong… Uttaradit; Phrae; Nan; Songkhla’s Muang and Sadao districts; Trang; and Satun.
Earlier, the junta lifted the curfew in the resort areas of Pattaya, Koh Samui, Phuket, Cha-am, Hua Hin, Krabi and Phangnga.
Tanongsak Somwong, president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui, said the island’s tourism environment had improved since the curfew ended. The trend bodes well for the months of July and August , a high season for Samui.
Advance bookings for July and August are about 60%, and hotels on the island say bookings should gradually increase, as many tourists prefer to book 14-21 days in advance. Mr Tanongsak said his group wasconfident the average occupancy rate in Koh Samui’s high season would be close to 90% like in 2013.
While the NCPO has lifted the curfew in most tourism areas, Bangkok and Chiang Mai are still subject to it.