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Chiang Mai’s Tourism ‘Recovery’ Driven Only by Thai Travelers

If right-wing zealots in the Senate have their way, this is how Thailand's youth would spend their free time. (Photo: Bangkok Herald)
If right-wing zealots in the Senate have their way, this is how Thailand's youth would spend their free time. (Photo: Bangkok Herald)

For all the talk of Chiang Mai’s supposed tourism recovery, the majority of visitors are still Thai, hoteliers say.

The upper northern chapter of the Thai Hotels Association said Tuesday that domestic Thai travelers still comprise the majority of tourists booking accommodations following the lifting of the “Test & Go” international-tourist entry scheme.

The booking rate has been around 15%, with 10,000-30,000 rooms currently in service, a vast improvement over last year, but one lacking a meaningful contribution from overseas arrivals, the THA said.

Most hotel operators report that international guest numbers are still low, as is typical for the season. Nevertheless, hotels in Chiang Mai and other northern provinces are performing better than in other regions.

This has been helped by the availability of direct flights between Chiang Mai and Singapore, with more routes to other countries expected to reopen in the near future.

The THA expects Thai travelers to remain the bulk of their customers from the third quarter onwards, and urged the administration to continue promoting domestic tourism.

The association also said it supported the fifth phase of the “We Travel Together” campaign, noting that businesses have benefited immensely from the program.