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Forty five countries have now advised their nationals to stay away from demonstration sites on Monday and advised their nationals not to wear red or yellow as they are the colours that are closely identified with the parties involved. Yingluck’s supporters generally wear red while anti-government groups wear yellow, although many have now changed and are wearing the nations flag.
The US embassy has warned that even peaceful demonstrations can turn confrontational and escalate into violence with no warning. They also suggest it would be prudent to keep your communication devices charged up, and keep a two week supply of food, water, cash and medicines if you are in the Bangkok area.
The embassies from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Russia and Oman have advised their citizens to stay away.
However, despite the warnings, the Tourism and Sports Ministry and tourism related operators are confident that the industry will survive any hardship caused by the planned shutdown.
The Tourism and Sports Ministry, the Tourism Council of Thailand and the Tourist Police Division all met yesterday to show their readiness for the protests planned for next week. A Tourist Friend Centre has been set up to help foreign visitors affected by the disruption, especially in terms of road traffic. The main centre will be in Huamark with joint operations at key MRT and BTS stations as well as the Westin, Twin Towers and Windsor hotels. A special van and bus service will be run as well as a boat taxi service should disruptions become so bad it is required.
Fifty volunteers wearing Tourist Friend Centre T-shirts as well as sixty tourist police offers in cooperation with a team from the People’s Democratic Reform Committee will be on hand to lend assistance.