The hotels in Bangkok are emptying and foreign governments are warning citizens away, but many in Thailand say that, despite the latest news on the floods, the country is still welcoming tourists with open arms to the Land of Smiles.

Bangkok's second-largest airport temporarily shut down on Tuesday due to flooding, but at present, the capital's main hub, Suvarnabhumi International Airport is operating normally.

Yet, the situation is Bangkok is still unsettling. The government has declared a five-day special holiday to allow people to prepare, and in some cases escape from the floods.

Tens of thousands of Bangkok residents crammed into the city's bus and train stations on Wednesday to flee the flood-threatened capital as the city's governor mandated official evacuations in two swamped northern districts - Don Muang and Bang Phlat - that are both already partially submerged.

While most of Bangkok's tourist areas and shopping districts have not been affected by the flooding, officials warn that the Chao Phraya River that winds through the city is high, and canals have burst their banks in some northern districts.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the novice politician that took office just two months ago, told reporters that the crisis has reached a critical point.

It seems like we're fighting against the forces of nature, massive floodwater that is causing damage to several of our dikes, she said. What we can do now is to manage it, so that it flows slowly, otherwise everybody will suffer.

During the press conference, Yingluck's voice began trembling and reporters asked if she was crying.

No, I haven't cried and I won't. I'll be strong to solve this problem for the Thai people. Right now we need to release floodwater to the sea as soon as possible and we need a quick rehabilitation plan, she said.

On Thursday, New Zealand joined the growing list of nations that have issued a travel alert for Thailand. New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) advised New Zealanders not to travel to the city of Bangkok and the 26 provinces affected by the flooding.

Canadian officials have also issued a Travel Warning for Thailand, urging citizens to exercise a high degree of caution in the Southeast Asian country. Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates, among others, issued similar warnings earlier this week urging residents to avoid non-essential travel to the popular holiday region.

However, many travel agents find these warnings a bit dire.

Vicky Mary, president of Victoria Travel, worries that sensationalism may have terrible effects on Thailand's tourism industry.

It's like saying there is flood in Iowa so don't go to the United States, Mary said.

Mary has a honeymoon couple that left Monday for a 12-day trip to Bangkok and Chiang Mai. She said she called every single hotel and tour they booked and only one tour was cancelled (a trip to the Siamese ruins of Ayutthaya.)

I called the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel in Bangkok and asked the receptionist what the situation was like. She said, 'honey I'm looking at the river right now, it's fine.'

The Royal Orchid Sheraton overlooks Bangkok's Chao Phrya River.

Newspapers in Thailand are careful to point out that while Bangkok is bracing for severe, if isolated, floods, popular tourist areas like Phuket, Pattaya, and Ko Samui - some of Thailand's biggest draw cards for tourists - are fine.

Tourism is a vital part of Thailand's economy, employing about 15 percent of the workforce and contributing about six percent of the GDP.

Blake Fleetwood, president of Cook Travel, an international travel agency based in New York City, said that Bangkok is the third most popular destination for his clients.

A lot of businessmen in Asia will go to Bangkok for leisure. Right now, we're telling them that it's flooding and if they haven't booked yet, maybe hold off.

Fleetwood said he receives about five or six calls and several emails a day from travelers concerned about the situation in Bangkok. He advises travelers not to do anything rash.

For now, we just have to wait and see, Fleetwood said. We're advising people to stay informed, be ready to change, and think about other places they may want to go.

While isolated portions of Bangkok and pockets within Northern Thailand are affected by the floods, the popular beach resorts and islands of the south remain unaffected and open for tourists.