Bangkok airport siege leaves 1,00,000 foreign tourists stranded

November 29th, 2008 - 4:39 pm ICT by ANI  

Bangkok, Nov 29 (ANI): The closure of Suvarnabhumi airport in Thailand has left almost 1,00,000 foreign tourists stranded and the number is likely to double or triple if the situation is prolonged.

Meanwhile, U-tapao airport has been used as a gateway for sending foreign visitors back home.

“Once the People’’s Alliance for Democracy protesters leave the airport, authorities will need time to restart operations. If the protest is prolonged, stranded foreign visitors may reach 200,000-300,000,” the Bangkok Post quoted Minister Weerasak Kohsurat as saying.

The anti-government protests by People’’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) has caused at least 50 million Baht of damage.

Kohsurat said that the Tourism and Sport Ministry would require at least 200 million baht a day, based on 2,000 baht per head for accommodation and meals, as expenses for stranded tourists.

Currently, it has only 10 million baht in initial funds and the ministry will ask cabinet to get money from the Budget Bureau.

The number of flights will increase from six to 15 today and 48 tomorrow. The aircraft capacity is about 300 passengers per flight.

About 2,000 buses would take passengers to U-tapao, which is at least a three-hour journey.

U-tapao will also be for incoming flights from abroad.

The Foreign Affairs, and Tourism and Sport ministries said that it will help Thais stranded overseas by offering accommodation and meals until the airports reopen. (ANI)

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