Dr. Mobius has been a long term investor in Thailand and almost always pops up with a commentary during times of turmoil here (which appears to be every 2 years ever since I begun working here in 2004). In this piece he covers the infrastructure bill, Thailand’s economic resilience, and below is his comments on the resilience in tourism.
If the past is any indication, the impact on tourism of the recent protests could prove relatively short-lived. When Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra’s brother Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted in 2006 in a military coup, there was little impact on tourism. And in 2013, Thailand welcomed a record number of visitors. So, if the demonstrations are having an impact, the overall picture doesn’t seem bleak at this time. MasterCard’s Global Destination Cities Index ranked Bangkok the world’s most-visited city in 2013, with nearly 16 million international visitors.3 Of course, if there is a great deal of violence there is no question that the impact will likely be felt this year. Nevertheless, our experience in Thailand through a great deal of political change and turmoil over the years indicates that the bedrock of Thai sensibility and practicality has eventually prevailed, and historically, when the turmoil has ended, it has generally been back to business as usual.
Source: Franklin Templeton