The Tourism Authority of Thailand, in association with the Pacific Asia Travel Association, issued the following statement today (16 March):
Both organisations seek to reassure tourists and business travellers visiting Thailand that the protests in Bangkok have not caused major disruption in the city. The city remains a safe destination for both leisure and business travellers. However, although this is a domestic dispute, PATA and the TAT advise all foreign nationals to exercise caution and avoid those areas of the city where the protesters have gathered.
Whilst it is entirely understandable that tourist and business travellers may have some concerns about visiting Thailand at this time it must also be stressed that:
• Both city airports (Don Muang and Suvarnabhumi) are operating as normal
• All other international and domestic airports in Thailand remain fully operational
• Tourist attractions in the city remain open for business
• Shopping malls are open
• MICE venues are open
The TAT continues to provide round-the-clock assistance via its 1672 hotline and representatives from the tourism industry are available to offer assistance to visitors.
PATA CEO Greg Duffell is keen to reassure industry stakeholders that Thailand remains open for business. “There is obviously concern felt in some source markets about safety and security issues. This is entirely understandable. Some governments have issued travel advisories that are likely to prompt would-be visitors to delay their travel plans to Thailand or, indeed, make alternative arrangements.
“It is important for our industry friends and colleagues overseas to appreciate that the protests have not impacted in any major way upon our daily lives in Bangkok. Our message is clear and straightforward. If you have scheduled a holiday or business event in Thailand then there is no reason to change your plans. This country needs your support – and you will always be assured of a fantastic welcome in the ‘land of the smiles’.”