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Thai Tourism Hurt as Protests Dent Lunar New Year Trips: Economy

Thai anti-government protests that have shut down parts of Bangkok may cost the nation’s tourism industry as Chinese visitors cancel trips during the lunar new year holiday that starts this week.

Arrivals will fall by half to 1 million this month, Minister of Tourism and Sports Somsak Phurisisak said Jan. 23, with some hotels in the capital and nearby Pattaya and Hua Hin 30 percent full. The revenue loss could amount to 22.5 billion baht ($685 million), the Tourism Council of Thailand said, with China last week warning its citizens to avoid protest sites and reconsider non-essential travel to the country.