UK, Canada issue travel advice ahead of crucial Thai referendum

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Thailand soldier and touristsThe UK, through the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, issued a travel advice for Thailand ahead of a referendum planned for August 7 on the country’s controversial new draft constitution. The Canadian government did so as well.

“A referendum on the Thai constitution is due to take place on 7 August 2016; political tensions are likely to increase leading up to and during the polls; you should avoid political gatherings and monitor the advice of local authorities and local media,” the UK statement said.

“A nationwide constitutional referendum is scheduled for August 7, 2016 [in Thailand]. Demonstrations may occur in the period leading up to and following the referendum. Be extremely vigilant in public places and monitor local media,” Canada warned.

Australia kept its earlier advice that travelers to Thailand should generally exercise “a high degree of caution,” and the US maintains its recommendation that visitors should “remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and avoid crowds and demonstrations.”

So far, the situation has been calm. While there is some debate over the content of the constitution in the media, outright criticism has been banned. Many people also are not well informed about the content of the constitution draft or don’t know about it at all.

However, while the current military government managed to keep political protests to a minimum over the past two years, some international observes feel that the constitution vote could bring underlying tensions to the surface.

TourismStatistics2015
Click to enlarge

But travel advisories or warnings have rarely done much to deter tourist from coming to Thailand. Neither the riots and political instability of 2010 nor the floods in 2011 had any effect, instead tourism arrivals jumped from one record high to another in those years.

Only the anti-government demonstrations, which occupied most of the first half of 2014, dented the arrival numbers slightly, only to jump back to a new all-time-high record of almost 30 million in 2015, the year of the fatal bombing of the Erawan shrine in Bangkok.

This year, the tourism ministry expects 32 million visitors.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The UK, through the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, issued a travel advice for Thailand ahead of a referendum planned for August 7 on the country’s controversial new draft constitution. The Canadian government did so as well.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thailand soldier and touristsThe UK, through the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, issued a travel advice for Thailand ahead of a referendum planned for August 7 on the country’s controversial new draft constitution. The Canadian government did so as well.

“A referendum on the Thai constitution is due to take place on 7 August 2016; political tensions are likely to increase leading up to and during the polls; you should avoid political gatherings and monitor the advice of local authorities and local media,” the UK statement said.

“A nationwide constitutional referendum is scheduled for August 7, 2016 [in Thailand]. Demonstrations may occur in the period leading up to and following the referendum. Be extremely vigilant in public places and monitor local media,” Canada warned.

Australia kept its earlier advice that travelers to Thailand should generally exercise “a high degree of caution,” and the US maintains its recommendation that visitors should “remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and avoid crowds and demonstrations.”

So far, the situation has been calm. While there is some debate over the content of the constitution in the media, outright criticism has been banned. Many people also are not well informed about the content of the constitution draft or don’t know about it at all.

However, while the current military government managed to keep political protests to a minimum over the past two years, some international observes feel that the constitution vote could bring underlying tensions to the surface.

TourismStatistics2015
Click to enlarge

But travel advisories or warnings have rarely done much to deter tourist from coming to Thailand. Neither the riots and political instability of 2010 nor the floods in 2011 had any effect, instead tourism arrivals jumped from one record high to another in those years.

Only the anti-government demonstrations, which occupied most of the first half of 2014, dented the arrival numbers slightly, only to jump back to a new all-time-high record of almost 30 million in 2015, the year of the fatal bombing of the Erawan shrine in Bangkok.

This year, the tourism ministry expects 32 million visitors.

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
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