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VNAT allows travel firms to resume tours to Thailand

Local tour operators have got nod from the national tourism authority to resume outbound tours to Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok as unrests there have died down, but they are told to maintain caution for tourist safety.

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Nguyen Van Tuan, head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), told the Daily  on Monday that the agency would issue an document on Tuesday to lift warnings after having some more discussions with relevant departments. Tuan made clear that the agency no longer banned tours to the destination but asked travel firms to be cautious in taking local travelers to Thailand.

“VNAT no longer bans the tour as the situation in Bangkok and the whole Thailand has been back to normal but tour operators should take Vietnamese to safe locations only,” Tuan told the Daily over the phone.

However, he pointed that while allowing for local travel companies to resume outbound tours to Bangkok, the agency does not encourage these tours at the moment. He asked the companies to work closely with Thai partners to make sure those Vietnamese travelers are safe there.

“We do not encourage the outbound tours to Thailand’s Bangkok at the moment. Tour operators need to think twice when arranging such tours to protect travelers,” Tuan said.

On April 12, VNAT issued an urgent document asking local travel companies to suspend tours to Thailand’s Bangkok, and limit the number of Vietnamese people traveling to high-risk destinations in that country.

VNAT also asked provincial Departments of Culture, Sports and Tourism to monitor the business activity of travel companies in arranging tours to Thailand under that situation.

Last week, some local travel companies announced that they would resume tours to the destination. Some of the companies have said the tours to Thailand would have new promotions thank to the cooperation of Thai partners.

Saigontourist Travel Service Co., for example, has said that the company would resume tours to Thailand on Tuesday. The tour operator is collaborating with Thai Airways to launch the five-day tour to Thailand at US$150 per tourist only, exclusive of airport and value added taxes of US$110. The promotion program is running from Tuesday until June 19.

Source:Vietnamnet

Time:03-06-2010 08:27:27