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Tourist warning for ‘Land of Smiles’

He adds that Flight Centre has systems to monitor all planned client travel and has contacted its customers destined for Thailand.

He adds that Flight Centre has systems to monitor all planned client travel and has contacted its customers destined for Thailand.

Published Dec 4, 2013

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More than 20 countries have warned travellers to avoid Thailand – but South African tour operators insist the “Land of Smiles” is open for business.

As protests continued this past weekend, the website travelinfo.co.za – a portal widely used by the tourism industry in South Africa – advised that Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Canada and Brazil, among others, had issued travel advisories “urging citizens to avoid visiting areas near the protest camps in the capital”.

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But Thai tourism authorities have given this assurance: “Tourists need not be alarmed of the presence of security forces and checkpoints in Bangkok. Police are deployed to provide security in the city (and) security has been stepped up to prevent ill-intentioned people from inciting violence.

“Tourists are advised to check travel routes and road traffic situations as well as avoid areas where crowds may gather.”

Travelinfo said “all tourist attractions in and around Bangkok such as the Grand Place, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Vimanmek Mansion, Siam Paragon and river tours along the Chao Phraya River are open and operating as per normal, despite some difficulties in getting to them”.

One major tourism operator said most South Africans typically headed for the islands, and not the mainland. - The Star

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