Leave Krabi, tourists advised

NEW Zealand tourists in Thailand have been advised to flee the country because of the ongoing political crisis while US and Canadian citizens have told to avoid all travel to the Kingdom.

The upgraded advice will be a dagger blow to the already wailing Krabi tourism industry which has seen a sharp downturn in bookings since the start of the troubles.

Recent demonstrations in Chiang Mai and violent protests in the centre of Bangkok are said to behind the upgraded security directives.

A statement from the US government said: ““Political demonstrations by the UDD are expected to continue in Bangkok indefinitely. As a result, traffic congestion and difficulty of movement is possible throughout Bangkok, and traffic patterns may change unexpectedly as demonstrators block roads.

“Other forms of transportation, such as the BTS Skytrain, may close unexpectedly in response to threats or incidents, such as occurred on April 27, when protesters jumped onto the tracks and tried to block the tracks with tyres.”

In response a whopping 1.6billion baht has been allocated to restore Thailand’s battered tourism industry once the current political crisis ends.

The Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) announced the spending plan which is liable to have major benefits for Krabi and the entire Andaman coast region.

The scheme includes 600million baht to restore domestic tourism with the remainder allocated for foreign markets with the scheme kicking off as early as June.

Tourism and Sports Minister Chumpol Silpa-archa said: “The number of visitors is likely to rebound in the third quarter should we be able to implement the stimulus plan within the second quarter.”

Foreign arrivals at Bangkok Airport only average 21,000 per day currently, a drop of almost one-third from last year.

The Kingdom’s tourism industry has remained slumped after grenade attacks at Silom in central Bangkok which killed four people and left 80 people injured.

Many foreign governments, including the British, Australian and Canadian embassies, have warned their citizens against travelling to the Thai capital in wake of the protests.

In the most recent violence, there were hots fired between red shirt protestors and security forces outside Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport.

The United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) have demanded PM Abhisit Vejjajiva call snap elections to allow fugitive politician Thaksin Shinawatra to return to power.

The former Manchester City FC chairman has been on the run since he was ousted in a military coup and faces corruption charges should he return to Thailand.

Click here for the latest security advice.

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