Thai authority uses martial law to attract tourists


Martial law, in force across the Kingdom, is being promoted in a campaign by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) as a guarantee of safety for tourists.

Tawatchai Aranyik, the Director of TAT, unveiled on Sunday the “24 Hours Enjoy Thailand” campaign. In the campaign, TAT promotes Thailand as safe for tourists because martial law is in force, so tourists can be sure that they will be safe all day and night..

TAT will start promoting the campaign early next year in order to attract tourists during the high season.

Soldiers maintaining security at Ratchaprasong intersection in a popular shopping district on 25 May 2014 (file photo)

Martial law has been imposed in Thailand since 20 May, two days before the coup d’état, in order to give the coup-makers, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), vast powers to arrest and detain dissidents.

As if to refute the high safety standards that the military claims are guaranteed by martial law, two British backpackers were murdered on touristic Koh Tao island last month and the case is not yet closed.

This tourism marketing campaign aims to boost Thailand’s tourism, which normally accounts for a tenth of the economy, after an 11.9 percent year-on-year drop in August and a preliminary 7.0 percent fall in September. 

Regardless of the expected outcome of the campaign, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, the head of the junta, said on 7 September that one thing to be certain of is that martial law will linger on until sweeping reform policies are implemented, but he did not mentioned exactly when this will be.



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