Pictures: Chiang Mai News
Tourism operators were putting a brave face on prospects for high season in the northern Thai capital.
But a brief report by Chiang Mai News painted a stark picture that really had one clear message: Tourism in Chiang Mai has been decimated by the downturn in Chinese arrivals.
Some were hoping that more Western tourists would fill their place especially during the next few months.
A hotel operator in the Prapokklao area said that her business had been terrible the last few months.
She was now forced to offer rooms by the month at discounts. These traditionally might attract more Westerners on longer stays.
Food vendors all over the city said that since the Chinese stopped coming in greater numbers there are few customers. They rely on passing trade and office workers.
It used to be vibrant but not any more, they said.
Ek Namjit, 30, said that the situation was as bad as Phuket – that is to say terrible.
Low prices for hotel rooms meant that some people would go out of business. He was forced to do two jobs to make ends meet.
The high season may provide some respite with the arrival of farangs but the overriding message was that the tourism business was in a bad situation.
Chiang Mai News quoted operators as saying that negative incidents and the resulting adverse social media comment had affected the Chinese tourism market considerably.
Source: Chiang Mai News