Phuket safe, but warnings on ‘Thailand’ vary widely

Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily digest of news from around the world compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

PHUKET: Germany advised travelers yesterday to avoid going near large crowds when visiting Thailand.

The update to the travel advisory, reported by Earth Times, notes that the Foreign Ministry website says Germans should “stay well away from demonstrations” and pay attention to news reports about what was happening in the Kingdom.

However, the advisory goes on to say that travel to Thailand is still fine, and does not caution people against trips, adding that beach resorts in the south, such as Phuket, are unaffected by the strife.

The Guardian reports that China and South Korea have issued strong warnings about visiting Thailand, while the Australian foreign ministry is warning of a “strong possibility of further violence” in protest areas.

Protesters will not negotiate

The Guardian
Anti-government protesters in Thailand yesterday rejected negotiations and insisted they would not give up their fight for early elections, after clashes left 20 people dead.

Jatuporn Prompan, a protest leader, said: “There is no more negotiation. Red shirts will never negotiate with murderers…it’s our duty to honour the dead by bringing democracy to this country.”

The Prime Minister said he would not bow to the protesters’ demands.

An official truce between the red shirts and the government was called yesterday after troops pulled back, but the protesters said they would parade the bodies of dead comrades through the streets today, which could lead to further clashes.

GDP losses mount in Thailand

Bangkok Post
Thailand’s tourism sector has lost more than 35 billion baht due to the bloody confrontations on Saturday between red-shirt protesters and security forces.

“Tourism and service businesses [such as] restaurants, souvenir shops and shopping malls near the rally sites are all affected,” Deputy Chairman Thanit Sorat of the Federation of Thai Industries said yesterday.

He said Thailand’s GDP for 2010 could drop a full percentage point from the government’s forecast, which was that the country’s economy would expand by four to five per cent.

Malaysia rides Singapore tourism wave

New Straits Times
Hotels in Johor, Malaysia stand to benefit from the spillover of tourists flocking to the newly opened Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore, said Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.

She said several hotels were coming up in Johor to cater for these particular tourists as lodging was a problem in the island republic.

“Tourists do not come here merely for gambling as there are other attractions such as our islands, beaches, food, culture and shopping,” she said.

She added that arrivals in January rose by three per cent, and more than 10 per cent in February, compared to the same months last year.

— Gazette Editors

Phuket News

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