Increasing haze levels and the now the new coronavirus are killing the tourism industry in northern Thailand. With tourists numbers from China already low, now the tour ban along with haze tourism will be hit hard.
Residents of Nan province are concerned over health hazard from the smog. One child care center in Nan city has installed air purifier to filter dust particle, due to the haze.
Over 80 hot-spots have been reported in the province while farmland burning continues despite official warnings. The level of PM2.5 averaged at 111 micrograms per cubic meter, exceeding safety level of 50 micrograms.
PM2.5 level in Chiang Mai are even worse, soaring to 313 micrograms in Doi Tao district yesterday morning.
Authorities expect worsening situation as burning is still widespread and uncontrolled. High level of PM2.5 has persisted for three days in the district.
Because of the high level of PM2.5 dust particles, agencies have attempted to tackle hazardous air condition. They have launched a public relation campaign to inform people of how to protect themselves from the air pollution. And also how to help curb the problem and stop burning.
Health officials recommend people with respiratory problems and you children wear face masks for PM2.5 dust particles. The face masks may also be handy to help prevent catching a virus.
Haze and Coronavirus create big drop in Bookings
Meanwhile, the coronavirus outbreak has hit northern Thailand’s tourism industry the Tourism Council of Thailand says. The virus outbreak has caused tour cancellations and suspensions for tour services causing an estimated loss of over THB10 billion in Thailand.
Manop Saejia, head of a tour guide association of Chiang Mai, a popular destination of Chinese tourists, said he was concerned over the effectiveness of health quarantine system.
About 40 percent of Chinese tourists in Chiang Mai travelled in group tours while the rest was independent, he said.
These independent tourists could spread the deadly virus if strict quarantine measures were not in place, said Manop.
Source: TNA, Thaiger