Chiang Mai may have to postpone reopening to foreign tourists until October due to Covid-19 vaccination concerns, Thai tourism officials suggested.
Tourism Authority of Thailand Deputy Gov. Thanet Phetsuwan said Friday that the start of the northern province’s “Charming Chiang Mai” program might have to be delayed from its planned September launch as the central government has failed to vaccinate 70 percent of the local population.
The reopening plan is, however, 80% ready to welcome foreign visitors, he noted.
Thanet said TAT officials will meet Chiang Mai Gov. Charoenrit Sanguansat Tuesday to ask him to complete the rest of the plan at a later date, to be proposed by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.
The TAT has no authority or power to reopen or postpone anything. But their endorsement is viewed as important for marketing.
Thanet added that Chiang Mai’s tourism-reopening program will not be the same as Phuket’s or Koh Samui’s plans, which have allowed visitors to arrange their routes freely.
Chiang Mai plans to reopen for tourism through the use of tour companies, with nine types of travel packages for four days and three nights, to ensure routes are controlled and the movement of foreigners restricted.