CM tourist numbers slightly down but officials confident for high season

New figures released by the Tourism Authority of Thailand show that tourist numbers were down slightly in the first nine months of the year in Chiang Mai but officials are confident that numbers will pick up over high season.

The numbers come from Ms. Pakanan Winjichai, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Chiang Mai office who told Prachachat that for the period of Jan. 1 to Sept. 30 tourism numbers in Chiang Mai dropped 2.05% compared to the same period in 2018, down 164,672 people to 6,992,406.

Notably, the decline is attributed specially to Thai tourists not foreign tourists with publicity about burning season this year being blamed for the small decrease. Thai tourists accounted for 70% of tourists visiting Chiang Mai versus 30% being foreign.

Hotel occupancy rates over the nine months averaged 71.54%, down 2.1%.

Overall revenue from tourism was up 0.94% for the same period, coming in at $74.164 billion baht while average spend per visitor was up 3.06% to 10,606.48 baht per person per trip.

Looking forward, Ms. Phaknan was confident for the last three months of the year. TaT is predicting 3,969,348 tourists will visit Chiang Mai from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, up 6.72% over last year on revenue of 36.255 billion baht. The rise is expected due to government stimulus measures encouraging domestic tourism, the onset of cold weather in the north as well as various events planned over cold season.

Photo: Armin Gruber/Flickr