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Hundreds of visitors are still streaming into the country

Peaceful political rallies in Bangkok, but life continues as normal

In spite of the ongoing political demonstrations in Thailand, hundreds of visitors are still streaming into the country, encouraged by the fact that the rallies are being held peacefully and tourists are not in any danger. The Airports of Thailand reported that 985,518 travellers arrived at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in March 2010, up 17.63% over March 2009. The numbers for the first week of April are still…

In spite of the ongoing political demonstrations in Thailand, hundreds of visitors are still streaming into the country, encouraged by the fact that the rallies are being held peacefully and tourists are not in any danger.

The Airports of Thailand reported that 985,518 travellers arrived at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in March 2010, up 17.63% over March 2009. The numbers for the first week of April are still being tabulated but are not expected to show any significant change in this trend.

With the fractional exception of a few places in downtown Bangkok, all of the city’s major shopping areas, tourist spots, and visitor attractions are all open normally, as are the primary means of public transport, the Skytrain and the Subway. Hundreds of young travellers and backpackers are also having a good time in the popular Khao San Road area. 

The Thai traditional New Year or Songkran Festival and many other events and activities in Thailand are to go ahead as scheduled; such as, the Grand Opening of the Grand Songkran Festival at Wat Pho, Songkran Thai New Year Merit-Making at Nine Royal Temples around Rattanakosin Island, Songkran on Khao San Road, and Songkran Celebration on Silom Road.

As of 5 April, 2010, the political rallies staged by the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) have been held peacefully, with protesters confined to the main rally sites at Makkawan Rangsan Bridge near Government House in Bangkok and Ratchaprasong Intersection. Just to be on the safe side, visitors and tourists are advised to avoid these areas. To avoid traffic congestion, it is best to travel by Skytrain or the Subway.

Life in all other areas of Thailand continues as normal. Suvarnabhumi and all other international and domestic airports in Thailand remain fully operational. A daily update is being provided at tatnews.org. In addition, Thai tourism industry representatives are on stand-by to provide assistance to foreign tourists and visitors.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand Tourism Intelligence Unit and Crisis Communication Centre (TIC) serves as an operations centre for state and private sector consultative meetings and joint planning sessions and enables TAT and representatives from the Thai tourism industry to plan and execute rapid and orchestrated responses. 

The TIC currently operates from 08.30 – 21.00 hrs daily. Representatives from Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Tourist Police, Thai Hotels Association (THA), the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), and the General Insurance Association will also be on duty at the centre.  

TAT recommends that foreign tourists and visitors to Thailand call the 24-hour Tourist Police Hotline – 1155 – for the latest updates on traffic conditions and roads to avoid.

The TAT Hotline and Call Centre -1672 – operates from 08.30 – 20.00 hrs daily. TAT recommends that foreign tourists and visitors to Thailand call 1672 for tourist assistance. In the event that further coordination or facilitation is needed, they will be directed to the nearest TAT Tourist Information Centre.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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