The number of tourists visiting Chiang Mai for Songkran are less than expected, with many choosing to head to Phuket and Koh Samui instead.
Mr.Udom Tantiprasongchai, Orient Thai chief executive, said the number of tourists visiting Thailand during Songkran 2012 are expected to be similar to those in recent years, but this years numbers could have been greater had there not been the problem with the smog in Chiang Mai, one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations during Songkran. According to Orient Thai, the number of tourists heading to Phuket and Samui are up to 85 percent.
“Due to the smog in Chiang Mai, tourists visiting Thailand during Songkran 2012 are less than expected, even though the holiday is longer this year,” said Mr.Varong Israsena na Ayudhya, Bangkok Airways’ regional sales director. Bookings for Chiang Mai are only at 50 percent, lower than rates from previous years (75%). While Booking rates to Phuket and Samui are 70 percent and can possibly increase to at least 90 percent.
However, the opinion of the airlines all appear to differ as Mr.Patee Sarasin, CEO of Nok Air, revealed Songkran 2012 is as busy as recent years. Even though there is a problem of smog, a large number of tourists are still heading to Chiang Mai for Songkran.