"--IANS/EFE"
Bangkok, June 10 (IANS/EFE) The military junta in Thailand has lifted curfew from three more tourist zones which the army imposed when they seized power in a coup May 22.

The zones to benefit from the declaration are the districts of Hat Yai and Phangan in the south, and the islands of Chang in the east, as per the orders of the army Sunday night.

The measure was approved two days after the curfew was lifted from four other tourist destinations -- Krabi, Phang Nga, Hua Hin and Cha-am, all located in the country's southern coast.

These regions now make up 10 tourist destinations from which the curfew has been lifted following last week's lift from Pattaya, Phuket and Samui, islands which form the major tourist hub.

The ban imposed on the streets -- from midnight to 4 a.m. -- is still in force in the rest of the country, including national capital Bangkok.

The military decided to relax the curfew last Tuesday following complaints from entrepreneurs about the damage that the curfew was causing the tourism industry.

Tourism accounts for 7.3 percent of Thailand's GDP.

Since the coup, arrival of tourists has gone down this year to 26.8 million, compared to the 28.04 million as expected initially.

The army imposed the ban from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. after the seize of power, although five days later they reduced the curfew from midnight to 4 a.m.

According to the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), there were 5,000 visit cancellations recorded the day following the coup, that led 62 countries to issue alerts to its tourists, out of which 19 countries, including Spain, advised against travelling.

--IANS/EFE

pv/pm/


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