Chiang Rai admin wants reopening plan of its own
The Chiang Rai administration, determined not to be left behind following the launch of the Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus tourism reopening schemes, has asked local authorities and the business community to draft their own reopening plan.
Chiang Rai Governor Prachon Pratsakun said the Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the local economy and it is time for the province to turn things around by welcoming in foreign tourists while controlling the outbreak.
He said the province, its advisers, and the provincial chamber of commerce have organised workshops on how to reopen the province to international tourists in a sustainable manner. The private sector will take the lead in this initiative, while the public sector will provide support and assistance.
"Chiang Rai has the potential. We used to have Phuket-Chiang Rai flights, and if they are resumed, we can bring tourists who want to explore new places to Chiang Rai. But that means our Covid-19 protection measures have to be effective," he said.
The findings from the workshops will be submitted to the public-private committee for consideration next week. Then, the reopening plan will be drafted and forwarded to the relevant authorities and the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
Wirote Chaya, chairman of the hotel association, said he was confident that health risks related to reopening are manageable and hoped that the province will be reopened in time for the high season in the North late this year.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, it was estimated that about 3 million tourists visited Chiang Rai per year.