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Thailand Is 'Safe for Travelers,' Says That Nation's Top Tourism Executive;

Schedule of International Events and Festivals to Continue Without Interruption

* Head of World Health Organization Announces No Need to Cancel Trips to
Thailand or to Isolate Those Who Have Traveled There

* Schedule of International Cultural and Sports Events Is Continuing
Across Thailand Without Interruption; 200 International Musicians and
Artists Expected in March for the Pattaya Music Festival

* Thai Hotels and Restaurants Are Voluntarily Meeting or Exceeding
the Strictures of the World Health Organization in Cooking and
Serving Poultry and Egg Products

* Tropical Medicine Institute in Germany Determines That Stricken
Traveler Returning From Thailand 'Most Likely' Is Suffering From
Simple Human Flu Strain, Not Bird Flu

BANGKOK, Thailand, Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Thailand is "safe for
travelers," according to the nation's highest ranking tourism official. Said
Mrs. Juthamas Siriwan, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT):
"We were gratified to hear earlier this week that Lee Jong Wook, Director
General of the World Health Organization, took the effort to speak out
publicly to say that there is no need for people to cancel trips to Thailand
because of concerns about bird flu."
Wook made his comments earlier this week in Brussels, saying that steering
clear of chicken farms and open poultry markets in affected countries would be
enough to avoid any danger to tourists.
Governor Siriwan also reported that a tourist who had returned to Germany
with a suspicious fever on January 31 is now in good condition and recovering.
Said the Governor: "The head of the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical
Medicine in Germany has monitored the case and concluded that the stricken
tourist is 'most likely not suffering from the bird flu' -- despite some media
speculation to the contrary."
The Governor noted that Thailand is maintaining its busy schedule of
international events: "Thailand is safe for travelers and tourists. The
nation's international cultural and world class sports events have not been
interrupted. The Bangkok International Film Festival concluded last week with
visits from major international stars and directors -- including Oliver Stone
and members of the cast of Alexander who have been shooting in Thailand. The
Johnny Walker Classic Golf Tournament wrapped up on February 1 with the
stunning victory of Miguel Angel Jimenez and drew players and audiences from
around the world. We are now getting ready for the arrival in March of over
80 musical groups and 200 international musicians and artists for the Pattaya
Music Festival."
Added Governor Siriwan: "We are continuing to take avian flu very
seriously in Thailand -- but we are dealing with it. The Prime Minister has
deployed doctors and soldiers throughout the country and they are taking very
tough and very effective measures to contain the spread of the virus, in
accordance with the strict guidelines recommended by the World Health
Organization. Resort and hotel owners throughout Thailand are also on high
alert and have taken extra steps to meet World Health Organization cooking
standards designed to protect visitors from any exposure to undercooked
poultry products."
The Governor concluded: "The quick response of Thailand's hotel and
restaurant industry over the past several weeks is just one more measure of
our unfailing commitment in Thailand to the safety of the millions of tourists
who come to our country each year to enjoy our vibrant culture, our
unparalleled historical sites, and the unmatchable natural beauty of our
beaches, mountains, and great rivers."

ABOUT TAT
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) was established on March 18, 1960.
Today, TAT supplies information and data on tourist areas to the public,
encourages Thai and international tourists to travel in Thailand, conducts
studies to set development plans for tourist areas, and co-operates with and
supports the production and development of personnel in the field of tourism.

Contact - Bangkok
Tanes Petsuwan
Director, International Public Relations Division (TAT)
Tel. 66 2 253 7418
Tel. 66 2 250 5500 Ext. 1570
E-Mail: tanes.petsuwan@tat.or.th


SOURCE Tourism Authority of Thailand


 

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