Chiang Mai welcomes 83 tourists
South Korean visitors arrive under 'charming' tourism programme
CHIANG MAI: Eighty-three South Korean tourists under the "Charming Chiang Mai" programme have arrived on the first international flight to the northern province in almost two years.
Jeju Air's Flight 7C4205 (JJA 4205) left South Korea's Incheon airport and arrived at Chiang Mai airport on Friday night, airport officials said yesterday.
The plane went through a vigorous cleaning process after it touched down at Chiang Mai airport at 10.05pm.
On hand to welcome them were Deputy Chiang Mai governor Ratthaphon Naradisorn, deputy governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Thanet Phetsuwan, Chiang Mai airport director Wichit Kaethiamthai and other officials.
The flight's passengers had their body temperatures checked and submitted travel documents, including certificates of entry, to airport staff.
Only a few of them applied for entry via the Thailand Pass website.
After going through immigration and customs procedures, the tourists were given souvenirs from the TAT and the airport before meeting tourism operators who later took the visitors to their hotels.
Under the Charming Chiang Mai programme, tourists can visit four districts in the province -- Muang, Mae Rim, Mae Taeng and Doi Tao -- the only places in the province allowed to reopen to tourists on Monday as the country marked its reopening after Covid-19 curbs.
Jeju Air operates the Incheon-Chiang Mai-Incheon service every Friday. More international flights are expected later.
Mr Thanet said the province is a popular destination for Korean tourists because these visitors like nature, the weather and golf courses.
As for the first batch of the 83 Korean tourists, he said they had come to play golf in Chiang Mai and Lamphun.
They would also visit tourist attractions in Chiang Mai, Lamphun and other nearby provinces before returning to South Korea later this week.
Mr Thanet said he was told that more than 1,000 South Korean tourists are expected to travel via chartered flights to Chiang Mai until Dec 12 to play golf.
Meanwhile, Worawit Chaisawat, another Deputy Chiang Mai governor, ysaid the Yipeng Lantern festival will be held on Nov 19 and 20 in the northern province.
The highlight of the Yipeng festival is the sky lanterns display.
It is believed the lanterns will carry away bad luck to make way for good luck and a brighter future.
Regarding new coronavirus cases, Chiang Mai province on Friday reported 403 new cases.
It came fourth in the country interms of new infections after Pattani (427), Songkhla (496) and Bangkok (721).