On May 22, 2014 the Thai military took control of the government. Martial law has been in place across Thailand until April 1, 2015 when it was lifted, except for the southern provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat, the Sadao district of Songkhla province and some border areas which are not known and visited by British & Irish tourists.
Article 44 of the interim constitution continues to give General Prayuth Chan-o-cha, current acting Prime Minister and head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), wide powers to take action to enforce law and order, and restrictions remain on freedom of assembly and expression. This will continue to discourage demonstrations which, before Marital Law, had taken place on varying scales in Bangkok and other cities.
Martial Law has had little affect on travel and tourism over the past 10 months with all businesses, facilities and attractions in the industry continuing with business as usual. For some travellers, travel insurance may have been invalid depending on their providers policy, but the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) assisted with this and launched ‘Thailand Travel Shield’ to provide visiting tourists with valid travel insurance options.
The removal of Martial Law this month is a positive step and does not impact on tourists planning a visit to Thailand in 2015. They should continue with their travel plans as normal, all tourist resorts are ready to welcome visitors.
Since Martial Law was imposed, British and Irish tourist arrivals have remained consistently good and we are pleased to report growth year on year in 2014 for British arrivals (0.4%) despite a challenging year and a particularly positive start for the Irish market in January 2015 (+2.21%).