Business owners, hotels and attractions are reporting that visitor numbers remain high in Hua Hin
as life returns to normal after the recent incidents on August 11th – 12th.
Fears that tourism would be greatly affected in Hua Hin in the wake of recent explosions have been allayed as the town remains busy with local and international tourists visiting the town’s beaches, town centre shops, as well as bars and restaurants near to the sites of the attacks. This spirit can be demonstrated by the example of the Poonsuk Road Bar, The Blue Monkey. Just a week after the incidents they staged an “Unbreakable Party”, posting this notice on their Facebook page. “We have decided to use this as an opportunity to show that we Hua Hin people are strong together and will stick together no matter what. We are UNBREAKABLE. We will be giving out shirts to everyone; it will say UNBREAKABLE on the front and HUA HIN THAILAND on the back.” People from all sections of the community gathered at the downtown clock tower near where two of the bombs exploded. They were joined by Prachuap Khiri Khan Governor Thawee, other Provincial government and community representatives and municipal Hua Hin Mayor Noppaporn.
This became a lively musical event and the Mayor thanked the organisers; describing the gathering as very impressive and memorable Placards in Thai and English that told the story that Hua Hin people are strong – Keep Calm and Carry On and Hug Hua Hin were held up in English while “We are strong”, “Welcome to Hua Hin” and “Hua Hin people united together” were translations of the Thai messages. Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said, “We are pleased that life has quickly got back to normal in Hua Hin, as it shows that people have confidence in the safety of Thailand and the increased security measures that have been put in place nationwide.” TAT is launching a “We Care” initiative, campaigning for the local communities to pull out the stops when it comes to hosting tourists and to encourage everyone working in the field of tourism to wear special White-Yellow Ribbons – symbols of the peace and unity of the nation. In addition, TAT is planning to organise a number of mega events and special tourism promotional campaigns to attract local and international visitors.
The “Jazz Run Cycling Hua Hin Festival” is scheduled for the first week of September, and will comprise a jazz music festival, a food fair, a marathon, and a cycling event. Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports has said that the long-term effects on these recent events are likely to be minimal as the incidents don’t seem to be terrorism related. The ministry is maintaining a target of 2.4 trillion THB of revenue from the tourism industry in 2016, compared to 2.24 trillion THB generated in 2015 when 29.8 million tourists visited the kingdom. Meanwhile, Prachuab Khiri Khan Governor Tawee Narissirikul, chaired a meeting for a newly established prevention and protection centre. He stated after the meeting that Hua Hin district has returned to normal, with all schools to reopen. He urged citizens and tourists to be confident in the town’s safety.
Accelerating the installation of CCTV cameras around Hua Hin is on the agenda to continue to build confidence and surveliance security locally. Army Commander Gen Theerachai Nakwanich later said that his Command has adjusted its work plans for greater efficiency, while acknowledging that pursuit of those doing the bombings was the responsibility of police. He urged the public to contribute to the effort to bring those responsible to justice. Police Chief Pol. Gen. Chaktip Chaijinda traveled to Hua Hin to follow up on the investigation after he had been instructed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan to monitor the investigation closely. He also assured local people and tourists of their safety while urging them to return to their normal lives.