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Russian tourists continue holidaying in Thailand despite protests in Bangkok

January 11, 2014, 1:31 UTC+3 11
1 pages in this article

MOSCOW, January 11 (Itar-Tass) - Representatives of Russian tour operators confirm that Russian tourists in Thailand do not face any difficulties over mass protest actions in Bangkok.

“There have been no cancellations of tours yet,” Russia's Travel Industry Union (RST) said on Friday. “The situation in the country’s resort zones remains absolutely calm.”

“This is not for the first time that Russian tour operators have to deal with political disorders in the country. They already have some experience of doing business in the riotous capital,” spokeswoman Irina Tyurina told Itar-Tass.

“We know from experience, most protests take place in the administrative regions of Bangkok without affecting the tourist centres. The country’s host agencies used to change the bus routes for excursions in order to avoid places of rioting,” Tyurina said, adding that excursions were sometimes postponed till a later date.

Tour operators believe that the main goal of Russians travelling to Thailand is to spend vacation at seaside resorts.

"When flying through Bangkok, tourists often stay in the city for a day or two to see the sights, after which they leave for the seaside. In most tumultuous periods they were sent straight to the seaside, while the stop-over in Bangkok and excursions were put off until the last days of the tour in the hope that the situation in the capital would normalize in a week or two,” Tyurina said.

Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry recommended Russian citizens to refrain from trips to Bangkok in view of the Thai opposition's plans to stage large-scale protest actions in Bangkok starting from January 13, aimed to block the activity of several governmental agencies and to upset on the main roads.

“Clashes between the opposition and government forces are not ruled out,” the ministry said on Thursday, January 9.

Russian citizens arriving to Bangkok are advised not to stay in the city and those leaving from Bangkok’s airports are recommended to arrive there in advance.

Following the Russian Foreign Ministry’s recommendations, Russia’s Federal Agency for Tourism (Rostourism) also advised Russian citizens to refrain from visiting Bangkok, and those who are already in the capital, to exercise caution and avoid crowded places.

“Rostourism, as well as the Russian Foreign Ministry, strongly recommends Russian tourists to refrain from trips to Bangkok and it asks travel companies hosting our tourists to cancel tours to the Thai capital for the period of possible massive opposition actions,” Rostourism spokeswoman Irina Shchegolkova told Itar-Tass on Friday. “The Russian citizens staying in the city should be cautious, fulfil all requirements of the law enforcement authorities and avoid protest sites.”

According to the Thai news agency, six people were injured on Friday as a result of clashes between theThai opposition and pro-government forces. On the whole, eight people died and more than 400 people were wounded since the beginning of mass disorders in Thailand at the end of October 2013.

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