Muscat:Thailand has been an increasingly popular destination for the people of Oman but the recent bomb blasts have shaken travellers’ confidence, prompting a few to change their travel plans.
Travel agents have reported a dip as some tourists have been cancelling or rescheduling their trip to Thailand after the series of explosions in five different provinces of the Kingdom last week.
“We have received few cancellations to Thailand, especially in case of families travelling together,” Raji Demonte, general manager at the Universal Travel and Tourism in Oman, told the Times of Oman.
“Usually, we get around 20 air ticket bookings to Thailand per day from all our branches, but right now,that number has somewhat come down,” she added.
Many people are changing their destination, opting to go to some other country because of the attack in Thailand, another travel agent said.
“We haven’t got any cancellation so far but people who booked tickets to Thailand have changed their destination to Georgia and some other places,” SanthoshKanakandath, managing director at Assaraya Travel and Tourism, told the Times of Oman.
“Some are postponing their travel to later dates,” he added.
“People who are going for medical treatment haven’t cancelled their travel so far but some who are planning to spend their leisure time have either changed the date of their travel or cancelled their booking,” another travel agent in Ruwi said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not issued any travel advice to the people of Oman in Thailand, according to an official from the Ministry.
According to the Thailand Embassy in Oman, they are expecting a 20 per cent growth in the number of travellers from the Sultanate this year.
In a special televised programmed on Friday night, Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha said his government would do its best to extend all aid to victims and will also investigate the tragedy.
“We will also ensure the safety of embassies, consulates and foreigners in Thailand,” he said.
Around 38,000 tourists from Oman have visited Thailand this year so far, according to the statistics from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
“Until now, we have seen around 38,000 Omani tourists visiting Thailand in 2016,” JittimaSukpalin, assistant executive director of TAT, said.
More than 80,000 Omanis travelled to Thailand in 2015. Most tourists from Oman visit Thailand for medical treatment, according to the Thailand’s Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman.