We are keeping a close eye on the situation in Thailand where the army has seized control from the government.
Under a nationwide curfew, tens of thousands of tourists across the country are being ordered to stay inside from 10pm until 5am daily until further notice.
The curfew applies to locals and tourists in all parts of Thailand, not just Bangkok, but does not extend to those travelling to and from the airports. However, travellers have been told they must produce all travel documents at check points and are advised to allow four hours for check-in.
Television channels, including BBC and CNN, have been blocked so many travellers are having to rely on social media for information.
The UK Foreign Office said the Chief of the Royal Thai Army has assured the safety of all foreigners.
“A number of media outlets have been taken off air and there is a risk that this could extend to the Internet. The military media channels are continuing to broadcast. As the situation is evolving you should monitor local news and social media for developments,” it said.
“There is a risk of a violent reaction to the army’s announcement. We recommend that you exercise extreme caution and remain alert to the situation. If you’re in any doubt about your safety, stay in your accommodation.”
UK tour operators have been busy contacting clients in resort to advise them of the curfew measures being put into place.
AITO member On The Go Tours said it has five people in Thailand at the moment, including one member of the reservations team who is there to do a FAM trip.
“The report we are getting from our ground handler is that all is fine in Bangkok. It’s not a coup as we hear of in many other countries. It is less formal and everything on the streets is fine,” said Pru Goudie last night.
“They are clearing the protestors, and have taken the TV and radio off air so that people don’t get whipped into a frenzy by politically-biased news reports. Our team member is fine there, he is in his hotel and just about to head outside to get dinner.”
Fellow AITO member Experience Travel said it has received a few calls from customers who don’t want to cancel their trips but just want some re-assurance.
“We are pointing out that there is nothing to worry about at the moment but we are monitoring the situation. We have about 15 clients going to Thailand over the next four weeks,” said Sam Clark
Tom Armstrong, one of the company’s directors, is currently in Bangkok. He told TravelMole: “Despite the coup, there is little to see for us ordinary Bangkok commuters – no obvious army presence: maybe a few extra people on the BTS trying to get back before the curfew, but generally a normal seeming atmosphere.
“We are confident that tourists will have no trouble getting to and from the airport as transport for tourists is being allowed to move freely. We see no current reason that people should alter their plans to visit Thailand and Bangkok but it’s very much a case of watch this space right now.”
Kuoni said it is contacting all customers in Thailand but would not disclose the number currently there.
“We will continue to monitor the situation working closely with the FCO, ABTA and our ground agents and we will keep our customers updated with information,” said a spokeswoman.
“Although the curfew is nationwide and applies to tourists as well as locals, all political demonstrations to date have taken place in Bangkok with no reports of any incidents affecting tourists in the region, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has not changed its overall advice relating to Thailand, meaning that normal booking conditions will apply.”
Trailfinders posted a message to customers on its website telling them it will keep them fully informed of any changes to events that may impact their travel plans.
Thomas Cook said it only has a small number of Signature customers holidaying in the islands to the south.
Meanwhile, travel security risk services company, International SOS, has issued an update advising business travellers to defer non-essential travel to Bangkok.
“Organisations with local offices in Bangkok should review their business continuity plans and ensure they are able to locate and communicate with all of their staff in the country,” said Eliza Murray, regional security manager Asia Pacific.
“The situation remains unpredictable and requires close monitoring. Keep across developments closely via the international news media and local contacts prior to and during your stay.”
Thai tourism chiefs said tourists in Bangkok should avoid areas where rally sites are situated as there will be large crowds.
Friday, May 23, 2014
Article in Travel Mole.
Something went wrong! Try Again.
User registration is disabled for now. Contact site administrator.