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Hostage killing incident has little impact on tourism, says the Tourism Authority of Thailand

The captivity of two marines in the country`s southern border province of Narathiwat, which ended with both of the hostages killed brutally on Wednesday, has affected all Thai people`s mind…

The captivity of two marines in the country`s southern border province of Narathiwat, which ended with both of the hostages killed brutally on Wednesday, has affected all Thai people`s mind, but is believed to have little effect on tourism, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

TAT`s Governor Juthamas Siriwan said she believed the murder of the two soldiers at Tanyong Limo village of Ra-ngae district would not affect the tourism since most tourists had been aware of the southern unrest for long.

She conceded that the incident has an impact on the mind of Thai people across the country.

However, it would not adversely affect the tourism, particularly in the South, where most tourists are Malaysians and Thais, she noted.

She said people around the world had been already aware of the spate of violence in the deep South of Thailand.

But at the ongoing meeting of the Joint Committee on Sino-Thai Economy in the northern resort province of Chiang Mai, which discusses bilateral cooperation in trade and investment, Chinese investors pay no attention to the news, according to the TAT chief.

The brutal killing of the two marines had, however, drawn attention from US tourists who had monitored and enquired the incident by phone since American people give a top priority to the safety and security, she said.

Pipat Paniengvet, Vice Chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said that the continued violence in the deep South had affected the trade, tourism and fishery.

However, it had not adversely affected the investment, partly because the investment in the South remained relatively small.

He believed the government would be able to cope with the southern unrest within one year.

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