Thai Junta Lifts Curfew In Phuket, Koh Samui, Pattaya, 'To Promote Tourism' Amid Coup [PHOTO]

  • Thailand Beach
    Tourists prepare to snorkel at a beach at Rang island near Kut island, eastern Thailand on April 24, 2014. Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha
  • Pattaya
    Pattaya is one of three Thai resort areas that will no longer be affected by the curfew instituted by the military junta. Wikimedia Commons
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The Thai military junta lifted the curfew Tuesday in the beach resort areas of Phuket, Koh Samui and Pattaya, but said the curfew would remain in the rest of the country since it was instituted after the May 22 coup.

The lifting of the curfew in the popular beach resorts was made “to promote tourism and to relieve the impact from the curfew in areas that are peaceful and free from political protests,” the junta said in a televised address, according to the Associated Press.

The curfew was initially set from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. when the military took control of the Thai government in a coup, but last week the junta eased the curfew from midnight to 4 a.m. That curfew remains in place outside of the beach resort areas “until further notice,” the junta said.

Thailand’s tourism industry, which accounts for 7 percent of the southeast Asian nation’s economy and provides 2 million jobs, said it had taken a hit from the curfew and the political unrest. Tour operators, hotels and restaurant owners said they have experienced an increase in cancellations since the May 22 coup.

“Everyone in the country, especially the tourism sector, hopes military rule is lifted soon and democracy restored,” Piyaman Tejapaibul, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand, told the Phuket Gazette last week.

Tourists complained about the curfew, but otherwise said their trips hadn't been disrupted by the coup.

"It's really like nothing's changed, except you have to go home before 10," Rosemary Burt, an American tourist from Gilbert, Arizona, earlier told the AP.

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