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MFA updates travel notice for Thailand

MFA advises Singaporeans travelling to Bangkok to avoid large gatherings and protest marches, as well as protest sites and their vicinity.

SINGAPORE: Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has updated its travel notice for Thailand.

Singaporeans travelling to Bangkok are advised to avoid large gatherings and protest marches, as well as protest sites and their vicinity during this period of political turmoil.

They should also monitor the local news and developments closely, and take necessary precautions.

As for local companies with operations in Bangkok, the BreadTalk group said its business has not been affected by the upheaval just yet.

BreadTalk has 28 outlets in Bangkok.

But it noted it would have to close its stores if protests affect shopping areas and they are directed not to operate by building management for safety reasons.

Another local company that sells health and beauty products, Best World International, said its business in Bangkok has fallen by about 50 per cent over the last four years.

The drop in business is due to the Red Shirts protests in 2010, the floods in 2011, and the anti-government protests that have been going on in the city since last year.

"The instability has seriously affected the consumer behaviour in terms of their disposable income. Most of them are only willing to spend on the daily necessities, rather than luxury products.

"Therefore many businesses are affected, including our business,” said managing director of Best World International, Dr Dora Hoan.

Several Thai nationals in Singapore said they are concerned that the political turmoil will affect the Thai economy.

"I prefer to come back to peace and the normal way of life. Otherwise the protesters will affect the traffic and the tourism business,” said one Thai national. 

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