UK travel industry feels pinch of Thailand’s political crisis

UK travel industry feels pinch of Thailand’s political crisis

Just as the UK travel market was just getting back on its feet after the Icelandic Volcanic eruption brought Europe to a standstill, the political unrest in Thailand has dealt the trade another blow.Most tour operators have put their programmes to Thailand on hold following FCO advice warning against all but “essential travel to the whole of Thailand”.And although operators have yet been unwilling to put a figure on the impact this situation is having on sales, they have conceded that because Thailand is a popular destination, the cost to their business is not insignificant. “It has impacted our normal service because we are following Foreign Office advice and not sending people out there,” said Kuoni spokesperson Anne-Marie Hansen.”Kuoni Operations are contacting passengers due to travel within the next seven days to assist with rebooking their holiday – if no suitable alternatives are available, customers can cancel free of charge.”Small Family Holidays Owner Allen Miller said he had decided not to fly any customers to Thailand while Virgin Holidays said customers due to travel within the next week would be contacted to discuss alternative travel arrangements.Trailfinders’ Nikki Davies added: “We are not continuing normal travel because of the Foreign Office warning but obviously Thailand is a big travel destination so we are looking into it.”In the meantime, Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been trying to persuade the British Embassy in Bangkok to amend its travel warning.”We are hoping for a positive result as we are receiving hundreds of calls from confused passengers and travel trade as to why they cannot sell holidays to Thailand,” said a Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) spokesperson.The TAT has said all of Thailand’s airports are operating as normal and all roads to these airports are open.British Airways said it was still operating flights to Thailand but had given customers the chance to re-book for a later date if they were concerned about travelling there.

Gary Marshall
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Gary Marshall
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