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US Ban Could Boost Middle East Tourism to Thailand, Official Says

Thailand might get more tourists from the Middle East as a result of U.S. President Donald Trump's entry ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries, the head of the tourism authority said on Monday.

Reuters

Updated:February 1, 2017, 5:19 PM IST
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US Ban Could Boost Middle East Tourism to Thailand, Official Says
Image for representational purpose only (Photo courtesy: Reuters)
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Thailand might get more tourists from the Middle East as a result of U.S. President Donald Trump's entry ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries, the head of the tourism authority said on Monday.

"The Middle East is a big market for us, especially in the medical tourism sector. They may choose to visit Thailand more and this may also boost our sector," Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn told Reuters.

He said Thailand would need to assess the situation further.

Thailand's military government did not respond to a request for official comment on the ban.

Trump has presented his ban as a way to protect the United States from Islamist militants, but it has been condemned by a growing list of foreign leaders and drawn protests by tens of thousands in American cities.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is the government agency responsible for promoting tourism to Thailand.

Only just over 2 percent of Thailand's tourists came from the Middle East in 2016, but it expects an 8 percent rise in the first quarter of 2017 compared with the year before.

Medical tourism is a growing market for Thailand. The largest operator is Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Pcl. Another is Bumrungrad Pcl..

Muslims represent the second biggest religious group in Thailand behind Buddhists, but make up only about 5 percent of the population.
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
| Edited by: Manila Venugopal
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