Chiang Mai joins Bangkok, Chonburi, Petchburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan in planning to open the province to tourism as of the 1st October, expanding on the Phuket Sandbox campaign.
Charming Chiang Mai is the name of the campaign and means that tourists who have been in the Phuket sandbox for seven days can come to Chiang Mai.
Tourism will be in the form of a sealed route, allowing for tourism in certain areas, managed by tour companies.
Blue zones will be open for visits, as long as they go with approved licensed operators. Anyone deviating from set routes may face penalties.
For Chiang Mai, there are initially 13 communities where tourists can visit and there is a vaccination drive underway in all areas with between 50-60% of the population in those areas vaccinated while the aim is to reach 100% by 1st October.
Areas to be opened up for tourism include Chiang Mai Night Safari, where over 300 staff have been vaccinated.
Communities as well as staff in areas surrounding the Royal Flora, Botanical Gardens, Mae Sa Waterfall, Pong Yang, etc. will also be a priority for vaccination.
The second phase will see further flung areas such as Doi Inthanon, Doi Tao and Hang Dong’s Baan Pong vaccinated with Blue Zones emerging and enlarging as more vaccinations become available. Mae Khampong, for instance, has had 70% of its population vaccinated, and other areas are soon to reach and exceed similar goals.