Hotel bookings for Songkran soft as smog crisis continues

Songkran Festival

The Tourism Authority of Thailand Chiang Mai branch has warned that hotel bookings for Songkran as so far soft as many Thais are taking a wait as see approach to visiting as the smog crisis continues.

According to TAT, that average occupancy rate for Chiang Mai hotels in March was around 50-60 percent with no foreign tourist cancellations but with domestic Thai tourist bookings down five percent.

Coming into April a similar pattern is emerging as word of the smog crisis has continued to spread with Thai visitor bookings already down.

TAT said that it this stage, hotel bookings for Songkran could end up being down between five to eight percent although they’re hopeful that bookings may come at the last minute if the smog crisis finally ends.

Chinese tourist numbers for Songkran have not been affected with over 100 cars expected to travel to Chiang Mai for the event along with strong bookings for hotel rooms from Chinese tourists, although not enough to counter the drop in domestic tourism.