Tourists ’safe’ despite rising death toll

TOURISTS planning to visit the Krabi region have been told not to cancel their trips despite many deaths during anti-government protests.

During the country’s worst political violence in almost two decades at least 21 people lost their lives and more than 800 suffered injuries.

The Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) urged travellers to carry on with their intended Thai vacations despite red shirts storming Parliament and closing down a large section of the capital.

And a spokeswoman assured that there was little chance Bangkok Airport would once again be occupied as happened in November 2008 during a week-long demonstration.

She added: “This is an internal and domestic issue and is not aimed at tourists, who are not in any direct or immediate danger.”

A state of emergency was declared last week after United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) activists besieged parliament and MPs had to be rescued by military helicopter.

The Thai government issued a statement that said tourists could still freely travel and that “peace and the rule of law would be restored in the next few days”.

Tourism officials are fearing a repeat of last year’s violence during Thai New Year celebrations dubbed the “Battle of Songkran”. A series of shootings and grenade attacks have kept tensions raised in the capital.

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