Tourists flock to Pattaya for Labor Day weekend
Traffic police labor all weekend
Many tourists from all parts of the country flocked into
Pattaya last weekend for the Labor Day long weekend.
Because May 1 fell on a Saturday this year, Monday was
designated a public holiday.
Last Saturday morning, many visitors and locals headed
for the tourist sites in Pattaya that provided special activities to mark
May Day. This resulted in serious traffic jams on every main street in
Pattaya and Jomtien.
One traffic policeman on duty said, “These traffic jams
are nothing out of the ordinary, as a lot of tourists come to Pattaya over
any long weekend. So we, the police, need to increase the number of officers
to take care of the many tourist spots and traffic in Pattaya.
“The traffic build-up started at 9 a.m. Most of the
cars on the road are from outside Chonburi bringing visitors to Pattaya.
“Anyway, we haven’t forgotten to enforce the campaign
against drinking and driving, in order to reduce the number of accidents.”
The Thai government declared May 1 as National Labor Day in 1935.
Employees are given a public holiday to celebrate the significance of labor.
Numerous claims of irregularity cited for delay in formal announcement of election results
Election commission bogged down in petitions
The official results of the Pattaya council elections
have still not been released, more than a month after voters cast their
Pattaya residents are becoming increasingly uneasy and
concerned about the unhealthy effects delay is having on the running of the
Niran Wattanasartsathorn and his team under the Thai Rak
Thai party have been informally named as the winners, but as yet have not
been able to begin the new administration.
Vijit Thananchayakul, director of the Chonburi Election
Committee said, “After the election, residents began handing in petitions
about alleged corruption. We are still in the process of checking these
claims. As a result, I cannot indicate the exact date when the formal
announcement of the election results will be made.
“We have to be sure, and fair, to those who appealed
for an investigation as well as to those who stand accused. If any
candidates really committed any crime, they will be legally prosecuted. On
the other hand, if the accusations are wrong, the petitioners will be
punished if it is found that their accusations were meant either to disrupt
the process or to damage candidates’ reputations.
“As regards the claim that children under the age of 18
were allowed to vote in 4th election zone in Kao Tong Thong Temple, we
cannot say anything at the moment because it is still under investigation.
“We will make a public announcement on the outcome of
all these investigations once they are completed.”
Niran Wattanasartsathorn, unofficially the city mayor
said, “These petitions are so numerous that the election committee cannot
formally announce the election results yet. As for me, people have a right
to draw up a petition if they feel or see something is wrong or illegal
about the election ... I want every process to be completed properly.”
Service with a smile - even police learn how to do it
Improving tourist safety and security
Two hundred tourist police officers have taken part in
training to serve and protect with the world-renowned Thai smile.
The two-day seminar, held at the Town in Town Hotel, is
part of the central government’s policy to improve tourists’ safety and
security, with a smile. The officers participating were from Chonburi and
surrounding provinces frequented by an increasing number of tourists.
Maj Gen Anand Jareoncharsri, Chonburi police chief, presided over the
opening session of the seminar and spoke on police procedures.
Niti Kongrut of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and
senior police officials presented lectures on how to provide better service
to tourists, as well as on preventative measures aimed at reducing crime
against visitors, Thai and foreign. Participants were given booklets
offering basic language tools in English, Japanese and Chinese to enhance
communication with non-Thai-speaking visitors.
The seminar comes in the wake of PM Thaksin
Shinawatra’s policy of supporting the increase in tourism, which brings in
billions of baht annually to the country from international travelers, and
boosts provincial economies.
The tourist police fall under both the minister of tourism and sport,
Sontaya Khunpluem, and acting national police bureau chief, Pol Gen Suntorn
Tourism & Sports minister confident in continuing tourist arrivals in Thailand
Pattaya is fast becoming destination of choice
Tourism & Sports Minister Sontaya Kunplome dismissed
suggestions that tourism numbers could slump this year as a result of the
latest round of violence in the southern border region, pointing to newly
released figures showing an increase in visitor arrivals at Bangkok’s Don
Muang Airport throughout April.
“In the last three days of April, when violence
occurred in the south, we still had an average of 24,400 visitor arrivals,
up from 10,800 during the same period last year, and 19,200 in 2002,”
Sontaya said on May 3.
He said that the latest figures from the Immigration
Police Bureau show that last month 625,998 tourists arrived at Don Muang
Airport, up an impressive 62 percent from the same period in 2003, when
tourism numbers had been slashed by fears over Severe Acute Respiratory
Syndrome, and up 8.3 percent from the same period in 2002.
Nonetheless, while predicting steady growth for
Thailand’s tourism industry, Sontaya called on the public and private
sectors to avoid complacency, warning that both the southern situation and
fears over global terrorism could serve to pull down tourist numbers.
On May 5 the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) met with
a number of private sector tourism associations to assess the latest tourism
situation and draw up approaches to stimulate the tourism market for the
remainder of the year.
The tourism & Sports minister also said that during a
recent visit to Singapore, he had spoken with members of Singapore’s
business community, who had not displayed any particular fears over travel
to Thailand. Similar reports were pouring in from across Asia, whether
Japan, Korea or Hong Kong, he said, adding that TAT officials were working
to ensure that trading partners understood the situation.
Meanwhile, the Kasikorn Research Center said in recent
report that the tourism business in Pattaya would have much more room to
grow, with tourists expected to spend over 40 billion baht annually here.
The leading think tank noted that the tourism industry in
Pattaya has been expanding over the last few years, boosted by such positive
factors as convenient transportation, low cost of living, and variety in
tourism attractions, which has attracted local and foreign tourists to the
well-known resort city.
Following last week’s violence in Thailand’s southern
border region, Pattaya now becomes another promising choice of travelers
wanting to visit the country’s coastal tourist sites. An estimated two
million visitors are expected to visit Pattaya each year, with cash
circulation in Pattaya’s local tourism business reaching over 40 billion
baht annually. (TNA)
Chickenpox epidemic hits 20,000
The Ministry of Health today warned of a
chickenpox epidemic sweeping across Thailand, with over 20,000 people now
infected. Figures collected from public health offices across the country,
disclosed by Permanent Secretary for Public Health Dr. Vallop Thainuea; show
that 22,833 people have been infected with the virus since the beginning of
the year, with the highest risk group being children aged 5-9 years.
The highest rate of infection is in the northern region,
with an infection rate of 63 per 100,000, while in the southern region the
infection rate is only 19 per 100,000. Dr. Vallop urged anyone infected with
the virus to take around five days leave from work or school in order to
help reduce the chances of contagion. (TNA)
Opposition gears up for censure motion before May 10
The government is left with a matter of
weeks to cobble together a defense after the Opposition announced that it
would table a censure motion by May 10, while hinting that it could request
the impeachment of several government ministers.
Revealing for the first time the possible date of the
long-awaited censure motion, Democrat leader Banyat Banthathan said that the
Opposition was now preparing information on which to grill the government.
If the motion is tabled by May 10, the debate is likely to take place around
May24-25, although the exact date and the length of the debate depends on
the government and the Speaker. Although Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra
has mocked the Opposition by calling for a 10-day debate, the Democrat Party
has said that around five days should suffice.
Banyat also hinted that the Opposition could try to
impeach a number of other ministers in addition to Education Minister Adisai
Bodharamik, accused of violating the Constitution, against whom an
impeachment motion has already been lodged.
But he allayed fears that the Opposition could drag the
prime minister’s daughter into the debate on the alleged leaking of
university entrance examination papers, saying, “I can’t yet confirm
whether or not we will speak about the leaked questions and the entrance
examination, but we will not talk about children’s issues.”
Even before the censure debate, Banyat began laying into
the government, questioning the fact it had not made any declaration of its
performance over the past year, as stipulated by the Constitution. He also
accused Thaksin of failing to keep his pledge to engage in public issues
rather than enter politics simply for the purpose of political victory.
Pattaya hotels made aware of need for high standard of service
Hotels need to be ready for influx of tourists
Pattaya City last week arranged a training program for
hotel operators to set benchmarks in the standard of service they provide.
The April 27 event was supported by the Chonburi Medical
Science Centre, Banglamung Public Health Office, Banglamung Hospital, and
Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Juabmee presided over the opening ceremony for the recent training program
to set benchmarks in the standard of service provided by local hotels.
Chanutpong Juabmee, deputy city clerk of Pattaya,
presided over the opening ceremony.
As this is an important tourist city, hotels here need to
be ready for Thai and foreign guests who are arriving throughout the year.
Acceptable standards - including the quality of food, cleanliness, and
security - are necessary for every hotel.
This was why the training program took place. Staff from
many hotels in Pattaya attended.
City officials continue mobile community service campaign
Maintaining community welfare
Pattaya City Health Department officials and volunteers are
continuing their monthly community services to outlying areas, to maintain the
welfare of the community.
nurses provided health consultations and minor check-ups for residents.
Their latest visit, on April 27, was to the Nongpankhae
community, located behind Wat Boonkanjanarama, south of Pattaya.
Free dental and health check-ups performed by volunteer
physicians and free haircuts and pet vaccinations were carried out as part of
haircuts for children and adults - courtesy of vocational students studying
their chosen profession.
Rice and dried foodstuffs and recyclable garbage in
exchange for eggs were also part of the beneficial services the city provided
Pattaya police officers took time off from their busy
schedules to give advice to residents and entertain them with a song and dance
Dental health is
a major factor in the regular community services.
As Pattaya expands, there are many groups of residents
facing problems due to location and/or low income. Pattaya administrators have
seen the need and committed themselves to helping these communities as well as
listening to their problems.
Russian and Lao entrepreneurs taken to the cleaners for illegal distribution
... of genital cleaning liquid
Foreign crime suppression officers
have arrested a Russian and a Lao national in South Pattaya after
undercover officers bought a bottle of genital-cleaning solution
The sting operation was part of a regional police
investigation into their activities.
Maltsev and Piramith Inthasine were arrested in front of the Susan
Bar for illegally selling “Piramistine”.
Vladimir Maltsev, 49, and Piramith Inthasine were
arrested in front of the Susan Bar on April 25 with three bottles of
the sanitary cleaner and marked bank notes in their possession. The
pair were taken into custody.
The two allegedly admitted to selling the cleaner
to foreign tourists for between 500 and 1,000 baht per bottle. They
stored the products at their rented Huay Yai house.
Vladimir said he had brought the bottles of
“Piramistine”, used as a sanitary cleaner prior to sexual
activity, in from Russia and had sold most of the stock before
returning to Russia to purchase more.
Police charged the pair with illegally importing
items for sale without paying excise duties, distributing products
without Thai FDA approval and working in the kingdom without
Construction worker commits grisly suicide
Jumps in front of moving freight train
A 57-year-old construction worker, identified only as Mr
Nar, committed suicide by jumping in front of a cargo train on its way to
Khon Kaen from Rayong at around 1 a.m. on April 25.
Police and Sawang Boriboon personnel arrived on the
scene, located in the Wat Thamasamakee community, where almost 100 people
had gathered. Police ordered Sawang Boriboon personnel to collect what was
left of Nar.
Residents told police that they last saw the man
purchasing a meal and drinking a bottle of lao khao (rice whisky) and heard
him shout, “I want to die,” before he jumped into the path of the
Nar, a local construction worker, had apparently been
depressed about his life, being poor and uneducated, and decided to end it
The 19-carriage freight train stopped about 100 meters
from the point of impact.
The remains of the deceased were taken to Banglamung
Hospital, while officers try to piece together the chain of events leading
up to the suicide and locate his relatives.
Police questioned the train driver.
Policeman loses two fingers in gang brawl
Thumbs down to unwelcome pugilists - literally
Pattaya police officers moved in to break
up a brawl between rival youth gangs in front of an unnamed karaoke bar in
south Pattaya. One of them left minus his right thumb and left little
finger, severed by a sword-wielding thug.
The crime took place in Rungland Village at 3 a.m. on
April 28. The unfortunate officer was Pol Cpl Wisut Musik.
Other officers subsequently arriving at the fight scene
inspected the bar and found a lot of blood and broken bottles, taking what
they could as evidence.
They then went to Queen Sirikit Hospital in Sattahip to
meet with Pol Cpl Wisut who told his colleagues that between five and six
young men had been engaged in fisticuffs. When he got between the youths and
ordered them to stop, one of them pulled out a 60-centimeter sword and
hacked off his finger and thumb.
Doctors sent the injured officer to hospital to have his
digits reattached. Police are searching for the violent thugs.
receiving 2200 ya
ba pills from Aranyaprathet
Police officers randomly stopping traffic found 2,200 ya
ba pills on a motorcyclist driving past a school in Banglamung on April 24.
Pol Col Wattanachai Srirattanawut, Pol Lt Wisut
Chanthong, Pol Maj Khomsorn Mabamrung and other officers were on duty in
front of Pattaya 7 School, Moo 11 Tambon Nongprue in Banglamung just after
midnight when 26-year-old Boonsong Rakarcha rode past.
They stopped him and discovered 11 plastic bags in his
trousers, each consisting of 200 methamphetamine pills. They arrested the
alleged drug dealer, who said he had received the pills from a Mr Nuring in
Amphur Aranyaprathet in Sakaeo province to sell to customers.
Alleged drug users arrested in raid on South Pattaya
Pattaya police have had a field day at the Rainbow
Apartments in South Pattaya, raiding room numbers 302, 304, 305, 322, and
Led by Pol Lt Col Maetee Preecha of the Pattaya police
station, the officers moved in on Soi 17, Moo 10, Nongprue, Banglamung.
They found six alleged drug users who were charged with
possession of and using a class 1 illegal substance.
The suspects were identified as Pirote Tiemthong, 29;
Samanta Goodwill, 39; Kranokwan Shoorat, 25; Saiphon Malee, 24; Kongkiet
Keyen, 22; and Tosapol Boontam, 25. All allegedly admitted to taking
After that, the officers arrested Miss Wiengping Somsoam,
34, at 235/33 in Soi Nakornchai Air, where undercover police had set up a
They confiscated four bags of the drug “ice”, a bag
of marijuana and 60,000 baht in cash as evidence. Wiengping was charged with
possessing illegal drugs with intent to sell.
Drunk falls down from 4th-floor
A Pattaya man is in a coma in hospital with multiple bone
fractures after falling from the balcony railing of his fourth-floor room,
allegedly after drinking too much.
Police were informed late on Sunday night that
36-year-old Chat Chamrusprasert had accidentally fallen from the fourth
floor in Soi 2 on Second Road. Officers found him unconscious and bloodied
in front of the building.
An eyewitness said, “Chat is a furniture maker. He had
drunk a lot and was trying to sit on the balcony railing. Unfortunately, he
lost his balance and fell down to the ground.”
He is reported to have sustained serious injuries,
breaking many bones.
Gamblers arrested with princely sum of 220 baht
Two dozen people have been caught red-handed in a Naklua
gambling den following an anonymous tip-off.
Criminal investigation officers, led by Pol Col
Wattanachai Srirattanawutti of the Banglamung police station, raided the New
Market location in the early morning hours on April 28. They found people
gambling for cash in the game Hi-Lo.
Pranom Pattanasagoon, the house owner and 23 others were
charged with taking part in an illegal activity. A deck of cards, a set of
dice and other gambling equipment, as well as 220 baht in cash were
Police search for killer who cut up man and stuffed body parts into plastic bags
Body parts found in two separate locations
Forensic experts are searching for clues into the killing
of a man whose body was cut up into several pieces and placed in garbage
On April 25, a resident made the initial grisly find 100
meters from the local office of the Ministry of Social Development and Human
Services on Sukhumvit Road.
Banglamung police were called out, to discover the
severed legs of a person in a plastic bag.
A doctor from the Banglamung Hospital inspected the limbs
and told police that the instruments used to cut off the legs were sharp, as
there were signs of “a very clean” cut in the flesh and bones.
Police ordered the remains to be taken to the forensic
institute for further examination.
Five days later, on the evening of April 30, police
received a second call. Laem Sakulchuea reported he found human remains
under a bridge 50 meters from his house in Banglamung. Officers and Sawang
Boriboon units arrived find more missing body parts of the man whose legs
were discovered on April 25. This time, two arms and the torso were
discovered in plastic bags inside a water tank.
Officials found the victim’s identification card, tax
documents and a bankbook which identified the dead man as 53-year-old
Sittiporn Taliengthong from Samut Prakarn. Tax documents showed that he had
been the owner of a contracting company in the construction industry.
The items were taken in as evidence in the case.
Later that evening a woman claiming to be the man’s
sister turned up at the Banglamung police station.
Pimpar Wongwisetkul, 32, told police that her brother had
been missing from home for a number of days and she had just learnt about
his gruesome death.
She said she could not understand why her brother was
killed in such an inhumane fashion as he did not have conflicts with anyone.
Police took the woman’s statement and questioned her in
Police are attempting to piece together the evidence and
said they expect to make an arrest soon.
Ride-by thieves arrested
Final ride-by attempt goes wrong
Two men alleged to have carried out a series of ride-by
snatches on a motorcycle have been arrested after they tried to steal a gold
chain from a foreigner.
Pattaya police arrested Pathatee Sarrarut and Somchart
Aiyala, both 25 years old, on April 22.
Sarrarut and Somchart Aiyala won’t be stealing any more gold necklaces for
a while, unless they try to accomplish the feat from inside a jail cell.
Their final attempt, for now, at stealing a gold necklace
went bad, as not only did they not manage to snatch the gold, but they were
also arrested in the process.
At about 1 a.m., police went to Soi Bua Khao after a
71-year-old foreigner reported an attempt to steal his gold necklace. He
said he had just arrived in front of Mike Shopping Mall on Pattaya Second
Road on a taxi motorcycle when a dark blue Honda Wave ridden by two Thai men
stopped close to him.
One of them tried to snatch his gold necklace.
Fortunately, he could not get it and they fled the scene.
The foreigner then alerted the police who shortly after
arrested the two men in front of Toyota Karaoke Restaurant in Soi Buakao.
The investigation revealed that Pathatee and Somchart had
allegedly committed the same crime many times in Pattaya and sold the stolen
belongings for money to buy amphetamines and to visit venues looking for
women to satisfy their lust.
Further investigations into the pair’s activities are underway.
Pattaya travel and tourism stakeholders bubbling with enthusiasm and excitement to host worldwide colleagues
Pattaya is to host the 67th Skal World Congress, a
prestigious six-day gathering of over 1,500 international travel
professionals and their families that will definitely add to the fame and
prestige of this city as a top-class tourist destination.
The big event takes places in 2006, but planning has
already begun and local Skal members are bubbling with new ideas to
keep their focus on the gathering.
Rauber, Pinnacle Resort general manager and club secretary, welcomed Skๅlleagues
and proposed the Skal toast.
Pattaya and East Thailand members have come up with the
idea of International Tourism Awards to whet the interest of all
stakeholders and the city.
On April 22, local Skalleagues gathered at the
Pinnacle Resort, Na Jomtien. Host Ingo Rauber, general manager and his team
laid out a beachside buffet under the stars for Skalleagues and
guests. As president Bob Lee is away in Bahrain attending a regional
conference, so Rauber announced the idea of the awards for excellence for
the tourism and hospitality industry, which got everybody’s attention.
David Smith read through the preliminary outlines and the
15 categories under which awards will be given.
“The details have yet to be approved by Skal
International but the event aims to the first in Thailand to honor
outstanding service and product as well as contributions to the travel
industry. It will be our version of the Academy awards,” Smith enthused.
members, Horst Horning & Vitiya Whangpatanathon (Skal Samui),
Bessie Samargachan, treasurer (Skal Bangkok); Malai Sakolviphak,
president (Skal Bangkok); board member Andrew Khoo (Skal
Pattaya), Bob Lee as 2nd vice president (Skal Pattaya) - board member
David (Chiang Mai), Brian Sinclair Thompson as 1st vice president (Skal
Bangkok); Somsak Kiratipanich, secretary (Skal Bangkok); and Alsatair
Carthew, board member (Skal Bangkok) during the national committee
meeting in March this year in Pattaya.
“We will be calling for entries from this month, with
the awards made to local players in the travel industry in December. In this
way, we want to maintain the interest with members and potential members in
the Skal movement,” he added.
The national committee met at the Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya
in March to begin preparations for the world congress. Skal members
from around Thailand were elected to the national committee and organizing
Pattaya Skalleagues elected to the organizing
sub-committee were Andrew Khoo, Bob Lee and Peter Malhotra.
Following the national meeting in March, Malai
Sakolvipak, Skal Thailand president said, “We have discussed the
preparations of the 67th Skal World Congress from October15-20,
2006,which will take place in Pattaya for the first time. This occasion also
will mark the 50th anniversary of Skal International Thailand and we
are proud to host this congress.”
With the follow-up meeting last month, local Skal
members and Pattaya stride towards a bright future and benefits that are
associated with hosting this major congress. They will continue to drum up
support for the event and prepare for the more than 1,500 international
travel and tourism professionals and their families meeting here in Pattaya.
For more information on Skal visit http://www. Skalpattaya.org
Day scheduled for May 7
Farming has been a major career in human history. Food
and many essential goods come from agricultural production - including
clothes, medicine and other natural everyday needs.
In Thailand, this job is considered to be very
significant and beneficial as it brings abundant profit to Thai people and
the country. Hence, in May every year we celebrate the benevolence of
agriculturists in a day called Royal Ploughing Day (Peuch Mongkol Day in
On Royal Ploughing Day, a rite is performed in which
seeds are the main objects. Apart from the fertility of land and sufficient
water, it is believed that special seeds are an essential part in bringing
It combines two rituals: “Peuch Mongkol” and “Rak
Nakwan” (the first field ploughing). In the former, seeds like rice grain,
corn, bean, sesame, etc., are blessed to remove all signs of bad luck from
them and make them provide abundant produce. The latter is the ploughing
ritual, starting to sow the seeds in the ground to signal the beginning of
the cultivation season.
The royal ploughing rites originally took place in the
Sukhothai period over 700 years ago and continued into the Ayutthaya period.
However, during the reigns of Rama I to III, Buddhist
rituals were removed and only Brahman rituals were performed. Later in Rama
IV’s time, the Buddhist ritual was rearranged and called “Peuch
Mongkol”. So the two rituals combined are known as “Royal Peuch Mongkol
Charod Pranangkan Rak Nakwan”, where Peuch Mongkol is the Buddhist
component and Rak Nakwan the Brahman.
Today, the rituals are performed in the royal traditional
form except for some parts that have been adapted to the modern era. The
King and Queen usually preside over the ceremony every year. At the close of
the rite, people who come to observe the rituals always hurriedly pick up
the seeds sown in the ground. They believe that the seeds will bring them
and their families good luck and prosperity.
Royal Ploughing Day is held every year at the Royal Park
or Sanam Luang in Bangkok. It is also scheduled as national agriculture day.
EU denies travel ban to Thailand
On April 29 the European Union (EU) dismissed fears that
it had issued a warning against EU citizens traveling to Thailand, but
admitted that a number of individual EU member states had advised their
nationals to avoid traveling to the country’s southern border region
unless it is strictly necessary.
In a meeting that was supposed to be focused on the
expansion of the EU on May 1, EU representative Klauspeter Schmallenbach
found himself hounded by journalists wishing to know whether or not rumors
of an EU-wide travel ban were true. Denying the reports, however, Klauspeter
said that travel warnings were at the discretion of individual member
However, Dutch Ambassador, Gerard JHC Kramer, conceded
that a number of EU member states, including the Netherlands, had warned
their nationals against traveling to the southern region unless it is
strictly necessary. Nonetheless, he stressed that the Dutch ban applied only
to the three southern border provinces of Yala, Narathiwat, and Pattani, and
not to Thailand as a whole.
Meanwhile, Australia has also warned their nationals to
avoid traveling to Thailand’s southern border region and Malaysia’s
coastal areas. The warning was seen in the Australian Foreign Affairs and
Trade Ministries’ websites, saying that Australian people should avoid
traveling to Thailand’s four southern border provinces of Yala,
Narathiwat, Pattani, and Songkhla, which are the focus of this year’s
spate of violence and unrest.
The on-line warning also said that Australian nationals
should also exercise caution when traveling to Thailand’s southern Satun
Province and areas along the Thai-Malaysian border. A number of Australian
tourists visit Thailand’s southern resort islands of Phuket and Samui in
Surat Thani Province every year.
The warning said that Australian people should also be
more careful when visiting Malaysia’s coastal areas and the Sabah State,
where they are at risk of being targets of kidnapping and criminal gangs, as
well as separatists from the Philippines’ southern region. (TNA)
Unrest in Thailand’s south affecting the tourism trade
A statement issued on April 29 by the Pattani United
Liberation Organization (PULO) warning foreigners to stay away from
Thailand’s southern provinces, has thrown the country’s tourism industry
A Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) spokesman told TTG
Daily News on April 30 its overseas offices had been flooded with enquiries
from anxious travelers wanting to know whether it was safe to visit
“We are trying to work out a response. All we can do is
to try to make it clear the threat is in the far south of the country, more
than a thousand kilometers from Bangkok,” said the spokesman.
Thai Hotels Association (THA) vice president, Prakit
Chinamourphong, said violence in the south had devastated holiday bookings
even before the tragic events when 107 people, mostly Muslims, were killed.
“But this PULO threat has considerably worsened the
outlook because it is not confined to Yala, Pathani, Narathiwat and Songkla;
it is also threatening neighboring provinces. We have to take the threat
seriously. These people are angry,” he said.
Meanwhile, the US, the UK, Germany, Denmark, the
Netherlands, France, Australia, Canada and numerous other countries have
posted advisories warning their nationals against non-essential travel to
The US advisory said, “We recommend against all
non-essential travel to these four provinces - Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and
Songkla.” Further updates to include Phuket and other southern were
The managing director of one of Thailand’s leading
inbound tour firms, requesting anonymity said, “Thailand is the
cornerstone of tourism to Asia. If the security situation deteriorates here
the ramifications will be serious for the whole region.” (TTG Asia)