Foreign Office Advice – What is it Exactly?


The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) produce travel advice for every country in the world. This information is kept completely up to date as the situation in each country changes, in an effort to keep the British public informed and safe. But what does this advice mean?

Tourists in Rio de Janeiro

Thailand and Turkey - Cases in Point

You may have recently heard about the political unrest in Thailand, and how the military there has taken control of the government declaring 'martial law'.

Despite these obvious concerns, the FCO has not issued a blanket statement advising against all travel to the country. Travel to all but two very small parts of the country is perfectly fine, but the FCO recommend you read the advice on their website first, as making political statements in public could lead to your arrest.

Many people each year enjoy a package holiday in Turkey. Most of these holidays are trouble free. However, in recent history there have been violent protests, so you should steer well clear of these.

What Does This Mean for the Holiday You Have Booked?

We've recently commented on the reluctance of tour operators to cancel your holiday or change the destination. While this was in the context of holiday illness outbreaks, it has a similar bearing. If there were to be a serious incident in the vicinity of your resort in Thailand or Turkey we would hope that the tour operators would realise that they can't send you to a warzone. However, for the time being it seems to be business as usual with regards to most, if not all holidays to these areas.

Despite the current worries in Thailand, the National Council for Peace and Order in Thailand are very aware that Thailand aims to generate £36.5 billion in revenue from tourism in 2014. They have decided to remove the curfew that runs between 12am and 4am in major tourist areas such as Krabi, Phang Nga, Trang, Hat Yai, Ko Chang, Cha-am, Hua Hin and Chiang Mai. The Thai economy can't afford to scare away tourists, travel companies, and commercial airlines, the cost would be too great.

One final point with regards to countries with warnings from the FCO, relates to the lasting effect of the problems a country has had. If a country has suffered from civil disorder, and has damaged its economy attempting to restore order, this could lead to local businesses, such as hotels, cutting corners, compromising the safety of their customers.

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