PUTRAJAYA: The Tourism Ministry is working closely with local and foreign tour operators to lure Malaysian and foreign tourists looking to cancel their trips to conflict-torn Bangkok.
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen said the military lockdown in the heart of Bangkok that has sparked fierce clashes with Red Shirt protestors has alarmed Bangkok-bound tourists.
She said the ministry had learnt that some foreign tourists currently in other parts of Thailand like Phuket or Southern Thailand also planned to cancel their scheduled trips to Bangkok as a result of the current situation.
Given its proximity to Thailand, she said, Malaysia could offer a good alternative to such tourists that would allow them to continue their holidays instead cutting them short.
“We will be launching the Colours of Malaysia 2010 event at Dataran Merdeka on May 22 and this will be another good attraction that we can offer such tourists,” she told reporters Sunday after closing the Mass Sports Clusters and Active Sports being held here as part of the National Youth Day Celebration 2010.
On Malaysians currently in Thailand or planning to go there, Ng said the ministry’s advise was that they avoid going near the protest area.
“We have not issued any travel advisory against Malaysians visiting Thailand because the protests are not being held in the whole country, they do not even involve the whole of Bangkok.
“The current situation is not something that occurred suddenly but has been brewing for several weeks, so we believe Malaysians are already aware of the situation and will be wise enough to avoid troubled areas,” she said.
She said the ministry was working closely with the Foreign Ministry and had been told that there had not been any cases yet of Malaysians coming under any danger while visiting Bangkok.