Chiang Mai Hotel Bookings at 30% as Air Pollution Concerns Loom; Hopes for Songkran Boost

Chiang Mai—

On March 27th, 2024, Mrs. La-iad Bungsrithong, the Northern Thai Hotels Association advisor, publicly revealed that the statistics of hotel bookings in Chiang Mai were only 30% full compared to the start of April from the previous year, 2023.

However, it was expected that the occupancy number would surge back to 70% during the Songkran Festival. In Chiang Mai, La-iad publicly stated the water play would be from April 13th to 15th, however, like other provinces, some areas would be designated to start the water play from April 1st onward.

During this time of the year in Chiang Mai, many tourists choose to visit tropical islands like Koh Samui as Chiang Mai is a destination for those who want to appreciate a cool winter. Moreover, Chiang Mai is currently facing air pollution at a concerning level, and hopefully, in April, more tourists would visit Chiang Mai if PM 2.5 problems are alleviated, said La-iad.

Air pollution was not only a problem in Chiang Mai but the northern region of Thailand overall was facing the same problem. The air pollution crisis negatively affected tourism in March as the hotel occupancy rate was reduced to 50% from the expected rate of 60%, said La-iad.

The Thai government should have a concrete plan to tackle the air pollution problems three to five years in advance. It might not directly affect the local businesses but the health issues would be a primary concern as the air was contaminated with PM 2.5. The PM 2.5 problem needed a national agenda to fix that needs comprehensive and concrete plans from the government, said La-iad.

Furthermore, La-iad also mentioned the ongoing draft on the legalization of casinos as an entertainment complex to benefit the economy and tourism in Chiang Mai. It would be better than to leave underground gambling dens unchecked. However, strict legal action and regulations must be thoroughly considered so the casinos would not cause any societal problems, remarked La-iad.

Kittisak Phalaharn
Kittisak has a passion for outgoings no matter how tough it will be, he will travel with an adventurous style. As for his interests in fantasy, detective genres in novels and sports science books are parts of his soul. He works for Pattaya News as the latest writer.