There is a growing movement amongst both local government bodies and business groups from the municipal office to the Chamber of Commerce, media, car rentals, hotels, restaurant and tour associations to push for a 1st October opening to fully vaccinated foreign visitors who live in Thailand as well as Thai nationals, emulating the Phuket Sandbox formula.
Today Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand met with Charoenrit Sanguansat, Chiang Mai Governor, to discuss the possibility of opening the province to tourism as Chiang Mai’s economy continues to atrophy.
The president of the Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association, Pacha Ratanapan told CityNews that various tourism groups, from the Guides Association to local groups have been preparing themselves in terms of proper safety and precautionary procedures for the opening and are urging for the government to allow tourism back to Chiang Mai.
The tentative name for this push is Charming Chiang Mai and it is hoped that fully vaccinated tourists will be able to visit four districts – Muang, Mae Rim, Mae Taeng and Doi Tao.
This initiative hopes to attract expatriates living across Thailand, Thai visitors as well as any fully vaccinated tourists or people who are currently in Thailand legally. The aim is to allow these groups to visit without the need to quarantine.
The aim of vaccinating 70% of Chiang Mai’s population is not within sight, but it is hoped that this initiative, once approved, could speed up vaccinations with more sent from Bangkok.
Since May of this year people working in the tourism industry from elephant camps, restaurants and tour guides, along with their families have been promised 6,000 doses of the vaccine. To date, only 1,150 doses have been administered to this group, far short of any realistic target for a possible opening.