Fresh for the Tourist Authority of Thailand claiming yesterday that bookings for Songkran are currently soft due to the ongoing smog crisis, the Chiang Mai Tourism Industry Council has come out with a new figure, saying that bookings are down by as much as 20%.
Mr. Sarawut Sae-yew, Advisor to the Chairman of the Chiang Mai Tourism Industry Council pointed a finger directly at the smog, telling Siamrath that bookings for the first three months of the year are expected to be reported as being down between 10-20%.
In a separate report, Mr. La-iad Boonsrithong, the president of the Upper North Hotels Association, said that bookings for Songkran are currently sitting at around 60% compared to a usual occupancy rate of around 85%.
Both said that they wished that the smog crisis would end soon.
The actual numbers are unknown with TAT previously having said that bookings were down only between five to eight percent.
Whatever the number, all parties agree that the smog doesn’t help when it comes to attracting people to Chiang Mai, particularly during low season.