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Let's Go Will Send Writers to Thailand

State Department Okays Travel Plans

By Yin Y. Nawaday, Crimson Staff Writer

Let's Go travel guides decided Monday to send researchers to Thailand after the state Department approved travel to the strife-torn country.

An updated State Department advisory issued last week reversed a previous advisory which cautioned against travel to Thailand.

A Let's Go official said yesterday that, before the new advisory, the organization was unsure about plans to update its guide to Thailand.

But after a week of deliberations that involved the travel guide's publisher St. martin's Press, "they have decided to go through with it," according to A. Paul Boni, who researches Thailand for Let's Go.

Let's Go is a lucrative subsidiary of Harvard Student Agencies which publishes a popular series of travel guides written and edited by Harvard undergraduates.

The Royal Thai government declared a state of emergency in Bangkok and surrounding areas on May 17 after clashes between demonstrators and authorities.

The State Department issued its first advisory on May 18 and recanted it on May 30.

"The most recent travel advisory is one that lifts some of the advice that was made about one week ago," said State Department official Kenneth Bailes.

The new advisory claims to "reflect improved security conditions and deletes the warning that U.S. citizens defer travel to Bangkok."

Boni said the latest state Department recommendation convinced the board of Let's Go that researchers can safely avoid the conflict.

"Legally, they would not have felt comfortable if the State Department had [kept its first] warning," Boni said. "[The decision] definitely had a lot to do with the state Department's down-graded warning."

Boni said the agency delayed the departure of researchers, originally said he expressed disappointment with the delay, but said he was not worried about dangerous travel conditions.

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