Tears in Thailand: Eric Clapton cancels Bangkok concert due to concerns over its tumultuous political situation

 

Asia Correspondent

Rock guitarist Eric Clapton has cancelled an upcoming concert in Bangkok because of the ongoing turmoil. The move is the latest blow to a city that is reeling from a downturn in tourism, trade and conference events.

The 68-year-old Clapton was due to play next Sunday at the Impact Arena in the north of Bangkok. But a statement posted on the website of promoter BEC-Tero said a decision had been taken not to proceed with the event due to the “current situation”.

“I hope to return Bangkok in the future,” Clapton is quoted as saying, according to the Nation newspaper. It provided details of how people could apply for a refund.

The cancellation is just the latest blow to Bangkok’s tourism and entertainment industry which has felt the impact of the ongoing political turmoil as anti-government protesters seek the ousting of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. At least 20 people have been killed and dozens injured in violence.

Reports suggest the violence and uncertainty has damaged Bangkok’s image as a safe and easy place to visit. The Reuters news agency said this week that the Thai Hotel Association had revealed that occupancy rates in the capital were hovering at around 50 per cent, well below the usual 80 per cent at this time of year.

At the same time, Thai Airways International reported a big net loss of £211m for 2013. Another loss is already expected for 2014. Meanwhile, Thailand also announced the biggest drop in imports in more than four years in January.

Imports fell 15.5 per cent in January from a year earlier, the biggest tumble since October 2009. Imports of computers and parts were down 19 per cent from a year earlier, car parts off 31.8 per cent and consumer goods 5.3 per cent. Exports dropped two per cent.

Thailand is a regional hub for global car makers and a major producer of hard disk drives. “Everybody is definitely delaying their imports of consumer products as most shopping malls are quiet,” said Nopporn Thepsitthar, chairman of the National Shippers’ Council. “Nobody dares to place big orders.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003