Pallop Saejew, president of the Chaing Mai Chamber of Commerce, told reporters on Wednesday that according to a survey of business owners in the province prior to the Songkran festival in April, there has been an impact on tourism as many Thai tourists have stopped coming to the region due to heavy PM2.5 pollution, inhalable particles 2.5 micrometres in diameter or less pollute the air.
According to the survey, the number of bookings varies by location. While in the Tha Phae area, bookings rise to 50 per cent, in the polluted areas, only 20 to 30 per cent of vacancies are booked.
Foreign tourists, unlike the Thais who are afraid of the dust and haze, still come to the region because they have spent a lot of money and are not willing to cancel their plans, like those who have already booked a travel package. Tourists from China, Vietnam, Europe and the United States still come to Thailand for Songkran, especially Chiang Mai.
Pallop said they would not take advantage of foreign tourists and provided them with information about pollution and alternative travel options in Chiang Mai to gain trust. He believed that April, the time of high winds, could help with the situation.
Chiang Mai reclaims the top spot again on Wednesday morning, March 29, 2023, as the most polluted city on earth when it comes to the level of PM2.5 microdust particles in the air.
A fire also broke out at Baan Hua Kaek community forest in the province’s Mae Wang district on Tuesday but was extinguished by 9 p.m. last night.
The Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) detected 600 hotspots in Chiang Mai, it is the highest daily record. Mostly are located inside reserved forests and various national parks. Hotspots accumulated from January 1, 2023 to the present, a total of 6,151 points.