Anti-government protests in the centre of Bangkok have led to international meeting planners postponing events or relocating them to other cities in Asia.
Medical device company Abbott is one multinational that has switched a key regional meeting for its medical optics sales executives from the Thai capital. Abbott Medical Optics’ meeting planners told CEI Asia that a three-day turnaround effort was launched in the past few days to change the meeting to Hong Kong.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand has also postponed local marketing activities for the month.
The Four Seasons hotel in Bangkok has been forced to cancel several business events, and a major medical association event has been cancelled, due to mass protests that have blockaded major city centre roads.
Senior director of public relations at Four Seasons Asia Pacific, Nicola Chilton, told London-based C&IT that the hotel has received several cancellations from the group and incentive sector this month.
Chilton added that visitors were taking a ‘wait and see’ approach with regards to how the political situation in Thailand is developing as protestors vow to boycott or disrupt planned elections and demand the government steps down.
“We’re monitoring the situation closely with regards to the political demonstrations, and as traffic in central Bangkok is being impacted, we’re working hard to minimise inconvenience to our guests,” she told C&IT.
“As always, we’re optimistic for Bangkok. This is a place that bounces back time and time again.”
Marriott International said in a statement: “While the eight Marriott hotels and resorts in Bangkok are operating normally and welcoming guests, we are monitoring the situation closely. Public transportation in the city is currently available.”