Tourist agencies in Vietnam said most of their clients have cancelled their planned trips to Thailand after a bomb attack in Bangkok killed at least 22 people, half of them foreigners.
Vu Linh Phuong, a representative of Ho Chi Minh City-based Lua Viet Tours, told Thanh Nien on Tuesday: “A group of 50 people and 20 individuals scheduled to travel to Thailand in coming days have cancelled their bookings.”
“All of them had paid for the tours, so we are persuading airlines, hotels, and restaurants to offer refunds without charging cancellation fees,” said Phuong.
Tran Bao Thu, marketing manager of Fiditour, also based in HCMC, said many of its clients who had planned to visit Thailand changed their destination, with some choosing Singapore and Malaysia and others switching to local tourist sites like Hanoi and Phu Quoc.
Meanwhile, Hanoi Redtours said it decided to halt all trips to Thailand.
“A tour group of our company was near the blast site in Bangkok on Monday, the day the incident occurred. All of them returned home safely but were very scared,” said Nguyen Cong Hoan, deputy director of the tour operator.
“We planned to bring 30-40 tourists to Thailand each day from August 19 to 21. But after the second blast on Tuesday, we decided to cancel all tours to this country on safety concerns,” he said.
Flowers are laid at the entrance to the reopened Erawan shrine in Bangkok on August 19, 2015. Photo AFP/Jerome Taylor
Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday recommended that Vietnamese citizens currently living in Thailand or going to Bangkok in coming days should avoid areas near the explosion.
A bomb blast at the popular Erawan Shrine in Bangkok during the city’s evening rush-hour on Monday, killing 22 people and wounding more than 120.
A Vietnamese man was badly injured in his face and feet in the blast. He is being treated at a hospital in the Thai capital.
The next day, a small explosive was thrown from Bangkok’s Taksin Bridge into the Chao Phraya River, but no one was hurt.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand announced that officials had beefed up security at key locations across the Thai capital and noted that the Royal Thai Police requested "locals and tourists exercise caution when out and about in Bangkok."