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Chiang Mai tourism is dead! But no one mentions the impact of smog crisis


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Chiang Mai tourism is dead! But no one mentions the impact of smog crisis

 

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Caption: Very lonely tours! All quiet in Chiang Mai after Songkran

 

Chiang Mai News reported that all aspects of tourism in the province were dead after Songkran. 

 

But none of their reporters thought to ask a pertinent question: What impact has the smog crisis in the north had on tourism?

 

They quoted one guide they called "Pramote" as saying: "I just can't understand it. There are hardly any tourists anywhere. It's always poor for me in the low season but this year is the worst ever". 

 

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Picture: Chiang Mai News

 

He was thankful that he had other means to fall back on to support himself while he waited for the next high season.

 

Other guides said there was no business for them at all. 

 

What Chinese there were visiting were using red song thaews and going to places recommended on Chinese social media sites. They didn't need guides.

 

Transport operators told Chiang Mai News there were hardly any foreigners on routes to Pai and Mae Hong Sorn.

 

There were just the usual locals and a few Thai holidaymakers. 

 

They too mentioned no connection with the smog. They blamed the hot weather saying clearly the tourists had gone to cool off in the sea in Pattaya and Rayong. 

 

Traders in food and souvenirs said there was hardly anyone about except for a few Thais and the odd Chinese tour group eating or buying a few trinkets. 

 

The media called Chiang Mai very lonely after Songkran. 

 

Reports of smog were very widely reported on news sites and social media with Chiang Mai being repeatedly named as one of the filthiest places in the world on consecutive days at the height of the crisis, notes Thaivisa.

 

Source: Chiang Mai News

 

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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2019-04-30
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It's dead now for several reasons: 

Low season after Songkran, always was, always will be. 

Seasonal burning/smoke/haze. Same same but worse. Politicians/cops useless. 

Social media: "most polluted city on earth", true or false doesn't matter. 

Hot as ####! and this year almost zero rains. Al Gore was right. 

Chinese invasion, which despite arrivals doesn't bring much local income. 

And... the continued failure of over-saturated copy-cat business sense: 

Let's open a cheap guesthouse / travel agency / restaurant and money will fall out of the sky!!! 

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I'm surprised the pollution has made an impact yet, I know of tourists arriving in Chiang Mai totally oblivious to the dangerous air quality here. It will probably take a while but word will get out - I certainly feel responsible to warn family and friends not to visit from February to May. The clowns in charge continue to ignore the developing tourism crisis. Maybe King Prayut Canute can come back to do his party trick in the future..

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16 minutes ago, Captain_Bob said:

It's dead now for several reasons: 

Low season after Songkran, always was, always will be. 

Seasonal burning/smoke/haze. Same same but worse. Politicians/cops useless. 

Social media: "most polluted city on earth", true or false doesn't matter. 

Hot as ####! and this year almost zero rains. Al Gore was right. 

Chinese invasion, which despite arrivals doesn't bring much local income. 

And... the continued failure of over-saturated copy-cat business sense: 

Let's open a cheap guesthouse / travel agency / restaurant and money will fall out of the sky!!! 

And let's not forget the artificially propped up and inflated baht. My wife had three friends jump on the "Golden Goose" last January. Two opened restaurants, one a guest house. All 3 have since gone under, leaving the people in some serious debt. When they complained to my wife, she told them: "My husband warned you, but you just laughed," and refused to help them. I said "had 3 friends", as now they won't talk to her.

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Tourism is a fifth of gdp and a tenth of government revenues. Chiang Mai is number 2 destination.

TAT needs to take the situation seriously. Deal with pollution is one thing. But need to look at and renew the overall offering in that city.

Instead of sitting on the purse strings, need to open up and flow the investment north.

Not just rice farmers are suffering.

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BBC news and other noted media clearly noted that Chiang Mai was the most

polluted city in the world.  No wonder tourism is way down and will be for years to come.

A company called Sunshine canceled a 500,000,000 baht retirement community due to pollution.

I have had 2 friends die from lung cancer and after 17 years I have had enough.  Throw in the never

ending immigration issues and you can be your own judge.

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

They too mentioned no connection with the smog. They blamed the hot weather saying clearly the tourists had gone to cool off in the sea in Pattaya and Rayong. 

It's steaming hot in Rayong as well but at least it does cool the air a bit as the wind is coming from the south off the sea.

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   Only money or very bad international publicity gets any action on problems in Thailand.  Perhaps the loss of tourists--with the loss of their money--will spur some action on the bad smog.  But, don't hold your breath.  Err, maybe do hold your breath if you are outside in CM.

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PM 2.5 is still over 150 today...I don’t recommend CM to anyone anymore...lining up my escape plans for the next few years from Feb until June....

 

the quality of living in CM is decreasing daily on so many fronts...

 

no vision no proactive thinking no idea on how to make a growing city an attractive city...just keep building unregulated new Moo baans on the outskirts of town and widen the road arteries with asphalt into town.....incredible incompetence and worse yet their ignorance is worse than their lack of planning skills.....

 

activity but no achievement of success....

 

 

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How about "5 years in jail for possession of a vaper" or 15 years in jail for possession of 0.1 grams of coke" ? Unbreathable air, total lack of fair justice, so many things now out there to make the tourists feel extremely vulnerable !

Going over the top with rules and regulations will have a highly negative effect on a person,s wish to go to Thailand.

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Having been there done that for about 15 years in the old city. Why (rhetorical question) is low season (both of them) such a surprise mystery to Thai tour operators? You get good business November-February then April-Songkran, after which many tourists disappear (low #1). Then you get the European and American students and families in June-August, then it goes quiet again September-October (low#2) then repeat. 

Even a child should know, when you earn, save at least something for leaner times. But no, so many Thais just get it and spend it all without thought for the annual cycle. Oh look I made 10,000 baht today so let's buy a new phone and throw a party without any regard for the next month or two, then FREAK out when their seasonal business temporarily dries up(!!!) Guess I'm missing out on the live only for today "Thainess" 😉 

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16 hours ago, koolkarl said:

BBC news and other noted media clearly noted that Chiang Mai was the most

polluted city in the world.  No wonder tourism is way down and will be for years to come.

A company called Sunshine canceled a 500,000,000 baht retirement community due to pollution.

I have had 2 friends die from lung cancer and after 17 years I have had enough.  Throw in the never

ending immigration issues and you can be your own judge.

And the Baht.

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5 hours ago, webfact said:

Chiang Mai tourism is dead! But no one mentions the impact of smog crisis

No it's not.  I saw Chinese tourists feeding the pigeons in front of the No Feeding The Pigeons sign at Thapae Gate just a couple of days ago.  All is well!   Plenty of Chinese tourist hanging around. 
And I saw a bunch of farang on motorbikes being pulled over and ticketed on Kotchasan Road east of the canal.  The BIB were very welcoming as they took their 400 THB for whatever offense they could come up with. Most farang drivers seemed to be in the process of being parted from 400 THB and obtaining a souvenir BIB autographed traffic ticket!  Very welcoming!!!  I know those tourist are planning return trips in the future.

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There are many farang here that have businesses dependent on tourism, so think about that.

I would say most of those business owners are taking "the back seat" as it were, having set the business up to provide income for wives, gf and their friends.

I am in that category having been lucky enough to retire from my homeland in my 40s.

I am quite meticulous when it comes to stats on tourists and inoarticularly income generated.

 

Last Oct,Nov,Dec and Jan i would say have been our best 4 month cycle since 2015, and we were already counting our chickens that 2019 was going to be the comeback year after the tourists had been in decline since 2015.

Then the smog came, absolutely had to be the catalyst for what has actually cost me exactly 30k a month for Feb,Mar,Apr.

I did our books today and income for Apr is probably in thebottom 12months in the last 100month.

By tradituon May and September will be slow regardless, but i think the damage is done again.

We had the military coup scaring people away, murders on ko Tao, the dissing of Chinese tourists, pleasure boat disiasters and now the smoke.

All self inflicted, Thailand doesnt deserve tourists.

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10 hours ago, webfact said:

"I just can't understand it. There are hardly any tourists anywhere.

 

Apparently in addition to causing respiratory and pulmonary problems, the enduring smog epidemic up north also is responsible for mental retardation.

 

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7 hours ago, connda said:

No it's not.  I saw Chinese tourists feeding the pigeons in front of the No Feeding The Pigeons sign at Thapae Gate just a couple of days ago.  All is well!   Plenty of Chinese tourist hanging around. 
And I saw a bunch of farang on motorbikes being pulled over and ticketed on Kotchasan Road east of the canal.  The BIB were very welcoming as they took their 400 THB for whatever offense they could come up with. Most farang drivers seemed to be in the process of being parted from 400 THB and obtaining a souvenir BIB autographed traffic ticket!  Very welcoming!!!  I know those tourist are planning return trips in the future.

 

Don't forget the TM30 souvenir they will also get after it will turn out that the guesthouse\apartment owner didn't fill out one for them. 🎁

 

 

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9 hours ago, connda said:

No it's not.  I saw Chinese tourists feeding the pigeons in front of the No Feeding The Pigeons sign at Thapae Gate just a couple of days ago.  All is well!   Plenty of Chinese tourist hanging around. 
And I saw a bunch of farang on motorbikes being pulled over and ticketed on Kotchasan Road east of the canal.  The BIB were very welcoming as they took their 400 THB for whatever offense they could come up with. Most farang drivers seemed to be in the process of being parted from 400 THB and obtaining a souvenir BIB autographed traffic ticket!  Very welcoming!!!  I know those tourist are planning return trips in the future.

Why is it bad that police stops people and check if hey have driver license? They stop thais too! And the fine should be 10 times higher for driving a motorbike without a license.

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7 hours ago, Traubert said:

I found Chiang Mai tedious at best and somewhat expensive. 

CM is one of the absolute cheapest places in all of Thailand.

 

Tedious? Meaning you were bored?

I wasn't. Lots to do.

 

I would've stayed if the bad air didn't come...

 

 

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19 hours ago, webfact said:

Reports of smog were very widely reported on news sites and social media with Chiang Mai being repeatedly named as one of the filthiest places in the world on consecutive days at the height of the crisis, notes Thaivisa.

And they can't see the connection??

 

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4 hours ago, Happystance said:

33% of the year 🤯

I was looking forward to living there 100% of the year.

 

Now I think I'll probably be there about 50% of the year at best - until/unless the air improves for the other 50% of the year.

 

I get the feeling with the smog season seeming to increase annually that I may end up only being in CM for about 1/3 of the year.

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