While the worst of the flooding in Thailand appears to be slowly receding, it has left the tourism industry scrambling to entice visitors back to the Land of Smiles.
News coverage around the world has caused the number of visitors arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport to drop 25% according to the airport's acting director Somchai Sawasdipol.
Shortages of stock of store shelves due to the flood interrupting manufacturing and deliveries are reported throughout Thailand. While many of those initial shortages have been alleviated, the one everyone will remember years from now is the Great Beer Shortage of 2011.
Beverage-makers have been allocating more working resources to producing bottled drinking water, which is in great demand from flood-hit areas but have also committed to improving the beer shortage significantly within a month, when the flood water has receded and their logistics systems are back to normal.
Beer availability seems to be hit & miss depending what shop you enter. Some brands are available (at inflated prices) while others are nowhere to be found.
Bar owners are doing their best to keep the shelves stocked but have been hit with price increases of 30% or more. Hopefully this will come back down along with the water levels.
With the rainy season over, the hot, sunny days make the demand for a "cold one" even more pressing.
Thailand will recover from this. There are things we can all do to help.
If you are a tourist, visit Thailand and enjoy the warm, hospitality the kingdom has to offer. This will help the economy greatly.
When you go out, be aware there may be times when your favorite beverage might be in short supply. Please be patient and use this as an opportunity to try another beverage,,,you might like it!
Whether you live here or only visit, consider donating to the flood relief effort.