Chiang Mai Welcomes Tourism amidst Covid-19 Pandemic

17 July 2020

Chiang Mai –

With curfew laws easing in Thailand, tourism businesses in Thailand are looking to start promoting local businesses. The tourism industry in Chiang Mai took a big plunge with the spread of the Corona Virus in Thailand and it has caused some devastating results.

The impact of Covid-19 on the Elephant Industry has been publicised by many media. It is no secret that the elephant attraction industry took a massive hit when the curfew and lockdown started in Thailand. An estimated 85 elephant camps were forced shut in Chiang Mai alone. With no income and no projections on when Thailand would expect tourists again, elephant caretakers along with their elephants made their way home to their respective villages. The walk back home is roughly 3 days long as they cut through highways and jungle areas. Stuck in villages like Mae Chaem, Om Koi and Tak, elephant owners are working a double shift, providing care for their elephants as well as working on farms around the clock to make ends meet.

With the employment rate in Thailand reaching almost 10%. Many are struggling to make ends meet. States like Chiang Mai that depend heavily on tourism have been affected by the sudden drop in tourism.

Travel Bubble
The Travel Bubble was announced by the Thai Government towards the end of the emergency curfew. The idea is to slowly open the country is a systematic and curated way. This would create a controlled environment to prevent further infections from spreading. It was announced on the 2nd of July that Chiang Mai fell in the list of targeted locations on the ‘Travel Bubble’ (along with Krabi, Samui, Phuket, Pattaya) implemented by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). The plan to re-open Thailand will be done in 3 phases.

Phase 1
It was suggested that tourism resume with groups tours. Group tours will make it easier to manage routes, activities and tourists. This also allows the government to study patterns and work on protocols and tourist management without it being too overwhelming.

Phase 2
the government announced that Phase 2 would be ready to launch within a month of implementing the first phase. If Thailand succeeds in handling services for the influx of tourism without any new Covid-19 cases, it can then prepare to open more states within the region.

Phase 3
The best-case scenario, the third phase would mean that the country can fully open again. This would mean allowing tourist globally, be it group tours or individual travellers. This would similarly have to be done by adhering to government standards and protocols along with implementing ‘new normal’ measures.

On top of the Travel Bubble, the government have also implemented new civil aviation regulations that would require flight ticket buyers to present a Covid-19 medical certificate before being allowed to buy a ticket into Thailand.

With the future of tourism in Chiang Mai looking uncertain, many business owners are already implementing ‘new normal’ measures in an attempt to drive tourism and keep their visitors feeling safe. From temperature taking to QR Code check-in, business owners are working hard to maintain the standard and observe government protocols. Many are also looking to advertise their businesses locally in a desperate attempt to attract local tourists from Bangkok. Will this be the time that the unique arts and melting pot of culture in Chiang Mai thrive?

#สำนักข่าวRATCHATANEWS 085-157-7465 Chiangmai Talk Newspaper Report

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