Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Alerts issued on travelling to Thailand

Ten of 24 countries which have issued warnings about travelling to Thailand have raised the level of alarm following the government's bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters. They are Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Norway and the United Kingdom, all of which account for a huge chunk of Thailand's tourism revenue.

Weerasak: Talking down tourists’ fears

Previously, 24 countries had issued a ''travel advisory'' for Thailand but later eased the warning when the state of emergency was cancelled last month.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has posted the latest information about the conflict on its website, explaining that incidents were occurring in limited areas.

The message is aimed at easing the concerns of regular travellers to Thailand and those who are planning to come to the kingdom during the high season, said TAT deputy governor Surapol Svetseni.

The TAT is now assessing the impact of the latest developments in the political conflict on tourism.

It had earlier studied the impact of the announcement of the state of emergency on Sept 2.

Tourism and Sport Minister Weerasak Kowsurat said the government needs to work harder to regain the confidence of foreign tourists.

The conflict between the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and groups of politicians, according to Mr Weerasak, might continue but the extent of the dispute would not be as dramatic as Tuesday's clashes.

Addressing 1,090 foreign travel agents and media representatives yesterday, the minister said foreign visitors could travel in other areas of Bangkok and around Thailand without worry.

The group of travel operators and reporters are touring the north, northeast, and southern regions of Thailand until Monday .

The ministry and TAT would jointly conduct roadshows abroad to convince international travellers to book for tourism packages to Thailand next year, Mr Weerasak said

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