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Drive-in tourist numbers plummet after ban

CHIANG MAI: The number of vehicles from China to Chiang Mai province has plummeted by 98 per cent from 600 to 10 daily following a ban on inbound motorists from driving deeper into the kingdom.

Chinese, transport, tourism,

Bangkok Post

Monday 25 July 2016, 04:53PM

Chinese tourists drive from the border crossing in Chiang Khong district of Chiang Rai province toward Chiang Mai province on the Chiang Rai-Chiang Mai highway. Photo: Cheewin Sattha
Chinese tourists drive from the border crossing in Chiang Khong district of Chiang Rai province toward Chiang Mai province on the Chiang Rai-Chiang Mai highway. Photo: Cheewin Sattha

Pornchai Jitnavasathian, chairman of the Tourism Council of Chiang Mai, said today (July 25) that the much lighter inbound traffic obviously resulted from the Land Transport Department’s ban on visiting motorists from driving beyond the province of entry. The measure took effect on June 27.

The measure affected the number of driving Chinese tourists who normally arrived in caravans through the R3A route from southern China via Laos and Chiang Rai’s Chiang Khong district to Chiang Mai and had high purchasing power, he said.

Before the ban, most of these visitors went to Chiang Mai and other destinations deeper in the country including Bangkok, Mr Pornchai said.

Previously, each visiting vehicle from southern China carried three or more tourists who spent at least B5,000 each per day, Mr Pornchai said. He estimated that the declining arrivals cost Chiang Mai B1 million a day in tourism income.


Boontha Chailert, president of the Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association, said unless the ban was reviewed, 3,000-5,000 workers in the tourism sector in the northern province would lose their jobs in three months.

Tourism authorities in Chiang Mai would call for a review of the ban and oppose other future conditions that would add inconveniences to visiting motorists, Mr Boontha said. He cited possible requirements for them to seek entry permission at least 30 days in advance and exit the country through the same border pass.

The Land Transport Department imposed the rule after an influx of visiting motorists resulted in a spike in traffic accidents and waste management problems. Besides, the merits of this group of tourists were questioned since many of them did not stay at hotels.

Read original story here.



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Kurt | 25 July 2016 - 20:53:07

Of course the Chinese tourists turn their back to Thailand.
Lost of 3-5,000 thai jobs in thai northern provinces? Of course, what would Thailand expect? 
Spike in road accidents? Thailand 'spikes' daily in road accidents without the Chinese tourists.
Waste management problems? Thailand has everywhere waste management problems for many years already.
 Has nothing to do with Chinese tourists.
Rules-rules-rules.  Asking permission 30 days in advance to enter Thailand? And must exit same border pass? 
What a dumb administrative nonsense.
Give the driving Chinese upon arrival at Thai Border a 30 day sticker for on front window + a certificate. Let the tourist choose any border pass to leave Thailand.
Leaving Thailand he hands over again the certificate, and receives a receipt for it. Can it be more simple?

But Thailand, why doing things simple if you can make it complicated? All for the sake of ...?
Not very promising tourist friendliness wise.
Xenophobic attitude, and blaming tourist for things what is actually thai culture, just throw your rubbish out of the car window while you drive.
Don't we have that already on our car dash cams?

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Foot | 25 July 2016 - 19:46:08

So many recent decisions that curb tourism.

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Belzybob | 25 July 2016 - 17:45:53

So poorly thought out plans resulted in the virtual end to drive in tourists from China. Is anyone surprised?

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