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Thailand Tourism Recovery Plan Taking Shape
Source: bangkokpost.com
Source Date: Monday, May 24, 2010
Country: Thailand
Created: May 24, 2010

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has been in close consultation with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to help shape a recovery plan for tourism in Thailand once the situation in Bangkok has stabilised.

A PATA delegation led by new chairman Hiran Cooray met on Tuesday with TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni to deliver the message that the organisation would "assist the TAT in the recovery phase".

Also present at the meeting, held in Bangkok, was immediate-past PATA chairman Phornsiri Manoharn, who is also a former TAT governor.

“PATA emphasises that travel to Thailand is still safe. The major part of Bangkok remains open and accessible for tourists and business travelers with hotels, shops and tourist sites open for business," PATA CEO Greg Duffell said.

Tourist resort areas such as Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi and Pattaya were unaffected by the protests in Bangkok's city centre, said Mr Duffel.

“Our previous advice in respect of Bangkok city centre remains in place. Tourists and business travellers should avoid the designated danger zone and heed the advice offered by embassies and consulates,” he said.

Meanwhile a self-proclaimed “Solidarity for Peace” group led by Chalida Tacharoensak and Srawut Pathommraj, both veteran human rights activists, was to hold prayers at noon Wednesday for the victims and for a peaceful resolution of the crisis in front of the UN's Ratchadamnoen building.

They hoped to send a peace message and urge parties in conflict to stop the violence and step back and resume talks to prevent no more bloodshed.

The UN announced today is a work from home day for all affiliate agencies in Bangkok.

Yesterday, the Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) called for an immediate end to the violence in Bangkok and a negotiated solution to the conflict.

IPU president Theo-Ben Gurirab said conflicts in society, although theymay seem intractable, cannot be solved through violence. "Only dialogue, negotiations and compromise can bring lasting solutions," he said.

Mr Gurirab recalled that the global parliamentary community had met in Bangkok barely a month ago with overall theme of parliament at the heart of political reconciliation and good governance.

"I therefore call on all our friends in the Thai parliament to assume their responsibilities and to do their part in ending the conflict,” he said in a statement.

In Australia, a group of labour activists was calling for a solidarity rally in Melbourne tomorrow (20) in front of Thai Airways office to commemorate the 20 May 1992 incident and call for the end of government crackdown.

Yesterday the U.S. embassy held virtual town hall meeting with a thousand enquiries asking about safety securities issues and how people would conduct their regular business or settle the postponed appointments with the embassy.

Some American citizens asked if the offer for embassy family members to leave suggesting that they should follow, the American consular service chief said the authorized voluntary departure was proposed only for eligible family members in Bangkok, to return to their permanent home location.

"Employees of the Embassy will remain in place. The decision for a private U.S. citizen to stay in Thailand is solely up to that individual’s discretion, however U.S. citizens currently in Bangkok are urged to avoid travel to and lodging in and around the demonstration areas, including the U.S. Embassy,” the U.S. official told online citizens.
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