Chiang Mai welcoming more tourists as flights start returning
Chiang Mai returned to its top spot as a favourite destination after the number of daily arrivals rose beyond 20,000 in December.
Nattawut Ta-inta, Chiang Mai Airport’s deputy director, recently said that the airport now welcomes between 18,000 to 20,000 passengers daily; of them, some 2,000 are international arrivals.
Some 130 domestic and about 20 international flights land in Chiang Mai daily. He said 11 international airlines have returned to their pre-pandemic schedule, including flights from Incheon and Busan in South Korea; Hanoi, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam; Singapore; Luang Prabang in Cambodia; Taiwan capital Taipei; Hong Kong; Yangon in Myanmar; and the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.
He said before Covid-19 arrived in 2019, Chiang Mai welcomed some 35,000 travellers daily, 30% of whom were foreigners and the remainder domestic.
Nattawut added that in the pre-Covid era, the airport saw 145 domestic flights and some 90 flights landing daily, including 14 from China alone.
“Chiang Mai Airport has the slots ready for all airlines to reinstate their flights. They just need to notify the airport and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand,” he said.
“Recently, Myanmar Airlines began flying twice a week from Yangon and will increase its flights gradually,” he said.
He expects China to open its borders in March, which may encourage Chinese travellers to return to Chiang Mai. He also said he believes more airlines will start flying to Chiang Mai from January.