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Inbound tourists advised to cancel trips to Thailand
Tourists told to drop trips to affected beach sites
Published on December 28, 2004
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has advised incoming tourists
with hotel reservations in tsunami-hit destinations to cancel their
The message was aimed at visitors from Scandinavia, South Korea and
Russia in particular, because they usually fly directly to Phuket and
reserve hotels by the beach.
"The situation is chaotic as tourists with advance bookings for the
disaster-hit destinations cannot get into the country," said Pornsiri
Manoharn, TAT deputy governor for international markets, adding that
the notification would be in effect for two weeks to one month.
To assist tourists, the TAT and the Thai Hotels Association have
prepared more than 1,200 rooms in Bangkok and Pattaya to accommodate
foreign tourists who were injured or left without lodgings because of
the damage to hotels by the series of tidal waves that hit the southern
provinces on Sunday morning.
Thai Airways International, Nok Air, Orient Thai and Phuket Air will
provide special flights
to transport the tourists from Phuket, Krabi and Hat Yai to Bangkok.
"All expenses involved will be shouldered by the [tourism]
ministry," Deputy Prime Minister Suwat Liptapanlop said after
consulting Tourism Minister Sontaya Kunplome and TAT Governor Juthamas
The Phuket Police Station is now serving as a tourism command centre.
Tourists can also contact special counters located at the airports in
Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, Ranong and Hat Yai.
Suwat, Sonthaya and Juthamas flew to Phuket yesterday. They declined to
disclose any estimates of the cost of the damage.
Prakit Chinamourphong, vice president of the Thai Hotels Association,
said the association would prepare about 1,000 rooms for those tourists
evacuated from the many islands in the South.
Some hotels in Bangkok such as SC Park have allocated 40 free rooms for
stranded overseas tourists.
Rama Garden is offering 75 per cent discounts off its normal rates
through until Thursday. The rate includes breakfast.
Prakit said that at least 1,000 rooms were needed for tourists at the
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