MOFA raises travel alert for Thailand from yellow to orange (Taiwan News)


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) raised its travel alert level for Thailand from yellow to orange late Tuesday, advising travelers to postpone any visits to the country.

Monday’s rush-hour blast left 22 dead, including two Hong Kong and four Chinese citizens, and injured more than 100 at Erawan Shrine in Bangkok. Six Taiwanese tourists were injured in the explosion including a family of three surnamed Chang who returned to Taiwan late Tuesday for further medical treatment.

According to Taiwan’s tourism bureau, a total of 275 Taiwanese in 14 groups are traveling in Thailand, and MOFA is assisting injured tourists to exit the country.

In a standardized contract for overseas tour, travelers bound for a destination deemed dangerous in accordance with travel advice obtained from MOFA are eligible to terminate their contract without prejudice. However, a fee of no more than five percent will be deducted from the price paid for the tour as compensation to the travel agency.

Travelers reserve the right to request for a refund from tour operators after the yellow-to-orange travel alert has been raised by the foreign ministry, according to the bureau.

Meanwhile, the bureau has invited the Travel Quality Assurance Association, MOFA, and the Consumer Foundation of the Executive Yuan for a round of discussions with travel operators on Thursday. Together they will touch on subjects regarding the feasibility to phase out the compensation plan. However, the ongoing proposal will only be limited to travels in Bangkok, the travel bureau said.

Owing to the tragic incident, operators are expecting a 20 to 30 percent reduction in Thailand-bound travels in the second half of the year.