Tourist num­bers ‘nor­mal’ af­ter Bangkok bomb: Thai­land


Thai­land’s junta said Tues­day the cru­cial tourist in­dus­try has been un­af­fected by last week’s deadly bomb at­tack, as po­lice quizzed a taxi driver be­lieved to have picked up the main sus­pect.

The bomb­ing at Bangkok’s Erawan shrine killed 20 peo­ple in­clud­ing 14 for­eign­ers and was Thai­land’s worst sin­gle mass-ca­su­alty at­tack.

But eight days on, the trail ap­pears to have gone cold, with po­lice so far fail­ing to track down a prime sus­pect cap­tured on se­cu­rity cam­eras leav­ing a bag mo­ments be­fore the blast.

The ma­jor­ity of those killed were eth­nic Chi­nese wor­ship­pers from across Asia, who flocked to the Hindu shrine in the belief that prayers there bring good for­tune.

The Aug. 17 at­tack, the first of its kind to kill large num­bers of visi­tors to Thai­land, has dam­aged its rep­u­ta­tion as a wel­com­ing and safe travel des­ti­na­tion

But the mil­i­tary gov­ern­ment has been at pains to play down any sug­ges­tion visi­tors might be put off from vis­it­ing.

“The num­ber of tourists in prom­i­nent tourist at­trac­tions both in Bangkok and other prov­inces is still high,” Colonel Winthai Su­va­ree, a spokesman for the junta, said Tues­day in a daily broad­cast, with­out giv­ing any num­bers.

“The Min­istry of Tourism and Sports has fur­ther re­ported that the sta­tis­tics of for­eign tourists trav­el­ing into Thai­land is at the nor­mal level,” he added.

Author­i­ties have yet to make an ar­rest or say which group was be­hind the blast.

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