New Thai PM Tells Country to Start Smiling
Thailand has a new acting prime minister who's had it with weeks of protests that have dominated the news from Bangkok. Why? Because tourism, which accounts for six percent of the country's GDP, is down!
The brother-in-law of fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, acting PM Somchai Wongsawat, says the country has to stop scaring foreigners:
I appeal to all parties to turn to each other to resolve the problem and together heal the damage done to the nation. We should bring back the smile to the country once again, as we are called the Land of Smiles. We have to restore confidence in outsiders, especially tourists, that we are a peaceful country and have no more conflict.
Though the political turmoil is real, tourists in the capital aren't in any sort of danger, as the protests have been largely peaceful. Bangkok blogger Newley Purnell has loads of on-the-ground reports, including photos and audio slideshows.
· Thailand Lifts State of Emergency Amid Tourism Fears [NYT]
· Thailand Lifts State of Emergency Citing Tourism [AP, via Google]
· Thailand Travel coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo of Bangkok protesters: NYT]