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Chiang Mai

Songkran revenues flow whilst hot-season temperatures soar

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Songkran revenues flow whilst hot-season temperatures soar | The Thaiger

Songkran Festival has attracted millions of Thai and foreign tourists to popular destinations nationwide, generating significant revenue for local economies. Last week Tourism Authority of Thailand economic forecasters were predicting a 10 percent rise in spending this year.

Chuchat on-charern, the Tourism Authority of Thailand chief for the southern province of Phang-nga, said an estimated 155,000 tourists visited the province, with each Thai tourist spending an average of 4,000 baht per day and each foreign tourist spending an average of 6,586 baht per day.

The province’s 11,000 hotel rooms have an occupancy rate of over 80 per cent this year, he said, adding that the tourism revenue during Songkran is estimated to top 1.1 billion baht, up 5 per cent from the previous year.

The province is popular among German, Scandinavian and Asian tourists due to its proximity to popular islands.

On the second day of the three days of the long traditional Thai New Year yesterday, Thailand was still soaked in a festive mood, even as the Meteorological Department reported a midday temperature above 32 degrees Celsius in every part of the country.

Some provinces in the upper part of Thailand reeled in heat exceeding 40 degrees Celsius. For the remainder of the holidays, the Weather Forecast Bureau yesterday said every region would face very hot weather. Temperature in the northern, northeastern, central and eastern regions would range from 34 to 40 degrees Celsius, while the average temperature in Bangkok and the South would be slightly cooler, averaging 32 to 38 degrees Celsius.

The highest temperature yesterday was recorded at 40.2 degrees Celsius in Nong Khai, Si Saket, Chaiyaphum and Surin provinces in the Northeast.

People planning to participate in outdoor Songkran water fights were advised to stay cool to prevent heat stroke and avoid long exposure to the midday sun without skin protection, or they could suffer sunburns.

Songkran celebration venues in major cities across the country reported an unexpectedly high turnout as people played in the water to cool off during the hot day.

Wanchai Sakudomchai, director of the Meteorological Department, forecast that today – the final day of the Songkran Festival – an approaching cold front from southern China would affect the weather in the eastern and northeastern regions, with risk of summer storms from today until next Wednesday.

As summer storms often bring intense downpours, thunder, gusty winds and hail, Wanchai urged all people residing in affected regions to be cautious.

Local people and farmers have also been told to remain prepared, as the summer storms could damage crops and properties. In the northern region, large crowds of Chinese tourists were seen celebrating Songkran and joyfully splashing water on each other with colourful water guns. There also were tourists from Western countries and Thais at Chiang Mai’s Tha Pae Gate and along the moat in Chiang Mai’s old town.

In Phuket we’re heading for 33 degrees today with a 50 percent chance of rain and partly cloudy skies. Even Patong seemed to have just run out of Songkran steam as of last night.

SOURCES: Sunday Nation, The Thaiger



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Air Pollution

Chiang Mai ‘s tourism holds up despite smoke and smog

The Thaiger

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Chiang Mai ‘s tourism holds up despite smoke and smog | The Thaiger

Chiang Mai’s current poor air quality and smoke haze is raising concerns on the potential impact on tourism as Thailand’s Songkran water festival approaches.

Smog has been a yearly occurrence in Northern Thailand, but this year the situation appears to be the worst with Chiang Mai topping the air pollution ranking and the media tracking daily results.

But La-iad Bungsrithong, president of the Thai Hotels Association (Northern Chapter), says there appears to be a short-term decline in the market.

However, she attributes the current performance to March being part of the traditional low season rather than the pollution, adding that there has been no booking cancellation from leisure or MICE guests.

The Songkran festival typically sees leisure demand for Chiang Mai from South-east Asia, Europe, China and Thailand. According to La-iad, room occupancy in April last year was 65 per cent, reaching 85 per cent during the Songkran period (April 12-14).

She expects similar figures for Songkran this year but also greater competition arising from new hotels around Chiang Mai and Airbnb.

Similarly, a spokesperson of Standard tour, Somchai Sandnee, said the company’s business has not been affected by the air pollution. Chinese tourists are less perturbed by smog issues than political turmoil and recent events such as the boat accident in Phuket last year, Somchai pointed out.

Chotechuang Soorangura, associate managing director of NS Travel & Tours, also says he doesn’t see the smog having an impact on sales.

“The smog is considered an annual situation and our company always (issues) an advice to customers. In the case where customers really want to visit Chiang Mai, we will suggest they limit their stays in the city in favour of other provinces instead such as Sukhothai,” Chotechuang explained.

SOURCE: ttgasia.com

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Bangkok

Summer storms on the way for north, north-east

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Summer storms on the way for north, north-east | The Thaiger

FILE PHOTO

People living in the north of Thailand are being warned to brace themselves for some summer thunderstorms until Wednesday. The Meteorological Department issued an alert today saying the storms will be caused by a high-pressure system from China that will interact with the hot weather over upper Thailand.

Outbreaks of summer thunderstorms will be likely from today to March 27. Thundershowers, gusty winds and hail are possible first in the Northeast and the East then the Central, and the North region.

Are you affected?

March 23-24

North: Kamphaengphet, Phitsanulok, Phichit and Phetchabun.

Northeast: Nong Bua Lamphu, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Udon Thani, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani.

Central: Nakhon Sawan, Chai Nat, Lop Buri and Saraburi.East: Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo and Chachoengsao.

March 25-27

North: Kamphaengphet, Phitsanulok, Phichit and Phetchabun.

Northeast: Nong Bua Lamphu, Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Loei, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani.

Central: Uthai Thani, Nakhon Sawan, Chai Nat, Lop Buri, Saraburi and Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya including Bangkok and its vicinity.

East: Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo and Chachoengsoa.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Air Pollution

Hazardous: Chiang Mai again leads the world in air pollution

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Hazardous: Chiang Mai again leads the world in air pollution | The Thaiger

Chiang Mai is back on top of the world’s list of most air-polluted cities, according to the AirVisual.com website.

AirVisual reports at 1.45pm that the air quality index (AQI) of Chiang Mai on Saturday stands at 471 (##!!??!!) , much higher than the 100 AQI safety standard (the WHO lists the safety limit as 50 on the AQI scale). It’s been about 350 all day today.

In its six scale listings Chiang Mai is now listed at the bottom as ‘Hazardous’, the scale doesn’t go any lower.

The northern capital has been covered with white, mostly bushfire smoke and smog, for almost two weeks prompting Chiang Mai residents to wear N95 air-filter marks outdoors. Or stay indoors.

The Chiang Mai University, the Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna and Chiang Mai provincial administration confirmed that the air quality in the city remained critical.

Hazardous: Chiang Mai again leads the world in air pollution | News by The Thaiger

 

 

 

 

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