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Krabi in desperate bid to attract tourists

Tourism operators in Thailand`s southern resort province of Krabi were today preparing to slash their prices in a desperate bid to attract visitors back to this province…

Tourism operators in Thailand`s southern resort province of Krabi were today preparing to slash their prices in a desperate bid to attract visitors back to this province ravaged by last month`s tsunamis.

According to Mr. Ithirit Kinglek, president of the Krabi Tourism Association, tourists have been steadily leaving the province since the massive waves slammed into the country`s southern Andaman coast on 26 December, leaving a trail of death and destruction.

Unless urgent measures are drawn up to pull visitors back to the province, local tourism operators fear that staff lay-offs are inevitable, particularly in the hotel trade.

Apart from its most famous tourist island of Koh Phi Phi, Krabi in fact received less damage from the tsunamis than other Andaman provinces, but images of destruction broadcast around the world have deterred visitors.

Mr. Ithirit also blames the government for trying to undertake a comprehensive post-tsunami clean-up which does not take into account the fact that some destinations were relatively undamaged and are now ready to welcome back tourists.

Local tourism operators are now drawing up special packages with cut-price rates for air fares, accommodation and tourism destinations.

One of hotels to be affected by the tsunamis is the Grand Tower Hotel in central Krabi. Miss Sakaorat Maneerat, who works at the hotel`s tour counter, says that only three of the hotel`s rooms are currently occupied, whereas normally the hotel expects to be fully booked.The hotel is now considering lowering its room rates in the hope of attracting more visitors.

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