BANGKOK, April 3 (TNA) -- Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), expects the number of tourists in the North will drop by 10% this year due to smoke haze.
He said he visited Chiang Mai and saw heavy air pollution in Chiang Dao, Mae Rim and Fang districts. Hotel occupancy rates in the three districts fell to less than 50% from 82% early last month, he said.
“Flights of foreign tourists have not been cancelled but fine dust will affect the decisions of local tourists,” Mr Yuthasak said.
Concerned parties were trying to cope with the air pollution. More tunnels of water would be installed in the North to welcome visitors and simultaneously alleviate smog during the upcoming Songkran festival, he said.
Under the circumstance, the number of visitors to the North would decline by 10% this year but tourists could visit secondary provinces instead, Mr Yuthasak said.
He hoped the fruit season in the East would restore tourism in the country later.