Thailand on Red Alert

After anti government protests, tourists are advised to avoid Thai travel

Tourists have been warned against travelling to Thailand after violence leaves 21 people dead and over 800 people injured. The politically motivated violence has led to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs raising a ‘red’ travel alert after the clashes over the weekend. Countries around the world have issued their own warnings to travellers with Britain advising that any visitors stay indoors if violence erupts and Australia predicting more clashes over the next few days. The anti-government ‘red shirt’ protesters have ignored pleas from the government to end the demonstrations that have led to the weekend’s violence. The main clashes were centred on the Bangkok area however on Saturday night the violence had spilled out into the Khao San Road region, a favourite with western backpackers.
The tourism warnings could damage the already shaky reputation of Thailand’s travel business; just 16 months ago the main international airport was closed for a week due to threats of violence. If the protests continue, the drop in foreign visitors could be extremely detrimental to the country. Thailand’s tourist authorities have already urged tourists not to cancel their holidays stating that “This is an internal and domestic issue and is not aimed at tourists, who are not in any direct or immediate danger”. The Thai government has promised to restore the peace and law over the next few days as an encouragement for travellers to stick to their plans. However the Foreign Office is now telling visitors to completely avoid the protest areas, with any travellers already in the Thailand advised to closely monitor all media and travel advice during this time.

Author: Archie Arch

Date: 12/04/2010

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