Turmoil in Thailand threatens lucrative tourism industry

|By:, SA News Editor

There are now very real questions as to "how long Thailand's vast tourism industry can withstand the political pressure ahead of what could be some of the largest protests the country has seen thus far," the WSJ says.

Demonstrators loyal to opposition leader Suthep Thaugsuban took to the streets in Bangkok Sunday and are reportedly planning their most ostentatious rally yet later this month.

Although tourism in the country has proven resilient, the Journal notes that this time may indeed be different: "Singapore Airlines ... said it would cancel 19 flights to [Bangkok] between Jan. 14 and Feb. 25 as demand dwindles [and] hotel occupancy [is expected] to fall to 70-75% in Q1 compared with a more usual 80%."

Meanwhile, Thai stocks (THD, TF, TTF) are off to their worst start for a year since 1988.