Could the explosion of a bomb in Padang Besar, Songkhla Province most southern city affects tourism in this popular getaway for Malaysian travellers. Padang Besar- a city with little charm- just at the border to Malaysian state of Kedah, is a heaven for Malaysian looking for cheap shopping and entertainment.
The bomb exploded on Friday evening in front of a karaoke entertainment venue. Kedah Immigration Department director Mohamad Yusri Hashim said four Thais were injured – one more however died according to Thai newspapers- outside the Dragon Karaoke centre but no Malaysian were among the victims. In Sungei Kolok, another popular destination for Malaysians with activities similar to Padang Besar, Ieight people were injured in an explosion at a karaoke shop, which followed two other incidents targeting restaurants.
The bombing came just 10 days after Gen Prawit, Deputy Prime Minister and also Defence Minister announced that the current government’s policy of preventing violence in the most Southern provinces of Thailand (Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and parts of Songkhla) had helped dividing by 50% violent casualties during the first six months of 2015. The General attributed the improvement to the ability of government officials to promote understanding with local people under a new program.
However, according to a conversation to the Bangkok Post, the Tourism Authority of Thailand in Songkhla indicated that they have been no indication of any cancellation from the Malaysian side for the coming weeks, especially with holidays coming in Malaysia following the end of Ramadan.
Malaysian tourists -recorded in total accommodation- represents for the four Southernmost provinces 86% of all foreign arrivals in 2013, the last reference year for annual statistics.In 2013, Malaysians reached a volume of 2,41 million travellers in accommodation while the four provinces generated a volume of 6.075 million total travellers- a market share of 40%. The four Southernmost provinces of Thailand attracts 66% of all Malaysian travellers registered in tourist accommodation.