Tourism asks 4-day Queen's birthday

The Tourism and Sports Ministry on Monday proposed Aug 11 as an extra public holiday to give the sagging tourism industry some help with a long-weekend celebration of the 82nd birthday of Her Majesty the Queen.

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The Queen's birthday, Aug 12, falls on a Tuesday. By making Aug 11 an official holiday, the country would effectively get a four-day weekend.

The additional holiday was proposed in talks with Narong Pipattanasai, the deputy chairman of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and navy commander.

The proposal needs approval from the NCPO, he said.

The idea of an extra holiday was also raised during the last government, but was never acted upon. At that time, it was proposed as a sensible measure for workers, most of whom otherwise would have two days off, then work on Monday, then have another day off on Tuesday.

The Tourism Ministry officials told Adm Narong they hoped that an extra day off would encourage travellers to hit the roads to shore up tourism hit by months-long rallies and the military coup.

Enforcement of martial law since the May 22 coup has also prompted several foreign countries in the region and further abroad to advise against visiting Thailand for now.

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