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Anti-government protests in Bangkok do not repel Russian tourists

November 26, 2013, 17:28 UTC+3 26

While some return their travel packages for Bangkok, the majority of travelers stick to their plans

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BANGKOK, November 26 (Itar-Tass) - Russian tourists go on travelling to Thailand for holidays despite mass street protests in Bangkok. The situation in the capital has had no effect on the country’s tourist industry yet.

“I have been in the tourist business in Pattaya city for years and I have seen a number of coups here. If it were not for some phone calls from relatives in Russia, I would have hardly known now that there are disorders in Bangkok,” Russian businessman Vladimir Bessonov told Itar-Tass on Tuesday, adding that Russian tourists continued holidaying at the seaside in Pattaya, which is located 165 kilometres southeast of the capital. Also they travel a lot around the country.

“The demand for tours to Bangkok has fallen lately, but there are enough other places in Thailand where you can go on an excursion,” Bessonov said, noting that tourists had no difficulties transiting the capital.

Thailand’s island resort of Phuket is also still popular with Russian visitors despite being one of the main locations of the Democrat Party, which has initiated the anti-government movement in Thailand.

“I am currently on business in Phuket. Here, as well as in Pattaya, everyone knows about the protests only from the television. However, no one seems to worry. People continue enjoying themselves,” Anna Troyan, the founder of a Russian private school in Pattaya, said.

The Russian Embassy in Thailand asks Russian citizens to refrain from trips to Bangkok (except for transfer to the Bangkok airport of Suvarnabhumi) over street unrest reported in the city, the press attach of the Russian Embassy, Aleksander Mrykin, told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

“We ask our people to be cautious, fulfil all requirements of the law-enforcement authorities and avoid the meeting places of demonstrators,” he said, adding that the situation in the Thai tourist zone remained calm and did not raise concern.

The diplomat noted that no Russians had turned to the embassy for assistance over sweeping antigovernment demonstrations in Bangkok.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s opposition continues protesting in the capital. On Tuesday, hundreds of demonstrators laid siege to the buildings of several government agencies, including the ministries of the interior, agriculture, transport, sport and tourism. The ministerial staff was evacuated. Most protest actions take place in the historical part of the city, thus hampering traffic there. At the same time, the road from Pattaya to Bangkok's airport Suvarnabhumi, located a little away from the city, is open to traffic.

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