Updated: 01/23/2014 00:04

Hong Thai cancels Bangkok tours

Hong Thai cancels Bangkok tours

Travel agency Hong Thai Travel has cancelled two group tours to Bangkok over the Lunar New Year period. 

This is in light of the state of emergency declared in Bangkok today. 

Hong Thai's Senior Marketing Manager, Stella Chow, says while the affected tours are for areas in the outskirts of Bangkok and Pattaya, tourists are typically given free time to shop in Bangkok. 

And they would run the risk of going through the protest zones. 

"The riots have gotten a little bit more violent over the weekend, plus we do know they are actually moving into the tourist areas like Asok and Pratunam, so we are very much concerned for the safety of our passengers. And we are concerned that even if they do proceed with the tours, they will not be able to fully enjoy themselves because they need to be cautious at all times."

She added that Hong Thai has received enquiries from customers over the past few days about postponing their trips. 

But it was only today that discussions with the airlines were finalised, to offer affected customers open-date travel for their tours, till the end of June. 

This means that customers will be able to change the date of their tours without having to pay any additional charges. 

Hong Thai will be contacting affected customers to inform them about the cancellation. 

Over the past few weeks, demand for Hong Thai's tours to Bangkok has dropped by about half. 

Usually, more than 30 people depart for Bangkok on one of Hong Thai's group tours. 

But the number has dropped to about 15 per group. 

Other tour agencies like CTC Travel have no cancellation plans. 

But they are allowing customers to postpone their trips to a later date, at no charge. 

CTC's Ian Tan says this is because they mainly handle free and easy trips to Bangkok. 

But he added that bookings for trips over the Lunar New Year period have dropped by about 30 to 40 per cent.

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