Northern Thailand saw the mercury drop one to two degrees Celsius further yesterday, with frost a possibility on some mountain peaks.
Tourists are expected to be drawn by the cooler winter, with spending expected to top Bt1 billion (S$41.7 million) in Thailand during the end-of-year high season.
Pensiri Trisat, a weather forecaster at the Northern Meteorological Centre, said that a high pressure system from China continued to move over Thailand and could bring down temperatures in the North by 1 or 2 degrees. Frosts were possible on high mountains in the North from yesterday to tomorrow. The lowest temperature in the upper North is expected to be in the range of 16-18 degrees. Mountain peaks could be cold to intensely cold, with lowest temperatures in the range of 6-12 degrees. The lowest temperature recorded this season was 6.9 degrees at the summit of Mountain tops in Chiang mai and Chiang Rai provinces yesterday morning.
Boonlert Buranupakorn, chief executive of Chiang Mai Provincial Administrative Organisation, said the winter is suitable for tourism. Some people travel to experience the cold weather, particularly on the weekends, he said. The organisation was preparing to welcome tourists by decorating the city with winter flowers ahead of the opening of the International Horticulture Exposition celebrating His Majesty the King’s 80th anniversary, including an exhibition of colourful tulips in early December.
The countdown to the New Year has begun, and the Provincial Administrative Organisation plans other activities for tourists such as a balloon festival honouring His Majesty the King.
This year’s revenue from tourism is expected to be flat from last year. Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are likely to see at least Bt100 million a day spent by tourists from December 10 to January, officials said.
In related news, the Royal Flora 2011 show, to be organised from December 14 to March 14, has sold 190,000 advance entrance tickets worth Bt19 million.