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Time for a Chiang Mai overhaul?


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3 minutes ago, Peterphuket said:

"There's a similar problem with elephants in Chiang Mai."

 

And another one here in Kao Look Chang, Phetchaburi, "Wildlife Friends Foundation" with, if I remember well  25 elephants to feed.

And not to speak about all the others animals he have to feed, managed by a dutch guy.

A large area.

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One of the key drivers is rent or lease costs. Until these are reduced dramatically then your average Thai business will not be able to afford to be located in buildings formerly used for tourism rela

The sad news today was that billions of Baht have been lost due to poor tourism numbers. The horrific news for the past several months has been tourist venues (i.e. restaurants, guest houses, hot

@FolkGuitar You forget that a lot of people in Chiang Mai aren't residents, they came from neighboring provinces and some even come as far as Isaan.   That's because CM is a gold-mine w

Most businesses of size are best situated in Bangkok. I remember after the floods in Bangkok many Bangkokians bought places in CM. What's happened to those?

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So glad Farang started this concerning thread on Thai Visa forum. I'm sure the city is now on its path to recovery. 

 

Yawn

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On 10/11/2020 at 10:37 AM, EricTh said:

@FolkGuitar

You forget that a lot of people in Chiang Mai aren't residents, they came from neighboring provinces and some even come as far as Isaan.

 

That's because CM is a gold-mine with its tourists.

 

The lesser known towns 'can survive' in normal times because their residents went to CM and Bangkok to earn money. So they are also affected.

 

I have seen my Isaan eatery owner in CM closing their shop and going back to Isaan. I have seen one Lao worker in another eatery going back to Laos because business was bad and the owner decided to let go some staff.

 

Tourists don't go to small towns, it is the Thai residents from small towns who go to large towns for work.

The same in Phuket all migrant workers

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A rather thought provoking topic, and one that relates to many other areas of Thailand too. Pattaya, Samui, Phuket. The promotion of domestic tourism is a good place to start. The few places that are surviving on Samui, in CM, and in tourist areas of Pattaya at the moment, are doing so thanks to Thai tourists, and ex-pats. Perhaps ex-pats should be given a bit more credit, in this formula? We do bring in alot of stable income. And nearly all opinions that ex-pats venture forth with, on this forum, are colored by that stable income, is it is to be expected, that we will hear some rather insensitive comments. Easy to talk, when you have a cushy pension. 

 

One potential source of income and jobs for CM, are nursing homes. I know there are a few, but it is likely they need more, especially as ex-pats age. I saw one recently online, that looked like quite a delightful place to live. It was more like a living community, with private homes, and nursing and assisted living components. That is an industry with great potential. 

 

Another consideration, is CM, like Samui, Phuket, and Pattaya was grossly overdeveloped, with little to no planning, or traffic mitigation. Not sure how it is now, but the last time I was there, traffic was becoming horrendous. What to do with all of those new apartment buildings, condos, and hotels? The vacancy factor will remain high for years to come. Much of the speculation was done, without much in the way of market research, and dependent on the idea that tourism always goes up, and more and more Chinese would be looking for homes, and apartments long term. How things change. Fairly hard to muster up compassion for many of these greedy developers, but it does leave a bit of a blight on the city. Same applies to Samui, where businesses are closing at a rate never seen before. 

 


The longer they wait, the harder it will be to restore the industry. People have short memories. Thailand was already being forgotten by millions, before Covid, due to a dozen reasons. Now? Too many alternatives. This administration continues to see Thailand as the COTU (center of the universe). Say it ain't so! No humility seem to be getting learned as of now. The army needs to figure out a way to muster up some courage, and re-open the nation to tourism. There are many ways it can be done safely, and there will be some risk, but nothing like the risk of not opening, and remaining sealed off from the world, like early 19th century Japan. Not even close. 

 

 

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 People are losing jobs, income and are getting somewhat desperate. Many legitimate massage people of either gender have no work. A tour agent I know, who had a thriving business, has been unemployed for six months.

Making Chiang Mai into a university city or a nursing home portal with varying degrees of comfort are both very good suggestions. However, permit me to doubt the current government would get off their butts and adopt them, because the ideas are not theirs.

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On 10/11/2020 at 10:22 AM, FolkGuitar said:

What keeps Phitsanulok financially sound?

Phitsanoluk never had much of a tourist industry... If they have 4 bars and 2 go under, it is not earth shattering... it is when you have hundreds of bars and restaurants set up for tourists, and they stop coming that there is a problem...

 

I usually like your posts but not sure I get what you are on about... if you are a pig farmer during swine flu, it is more upsetting than if you are a nurse... CM has a tourist area, it relies on tourists, whereas other cities do not... 

 

a sea change like you are asking for is a gradual process... if there is a vaccine, then maybe tourists will return... if not, it will change. 

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2 hours ago, Dante99 said:

There is a bit of manufacturing and substantial agriculture, not just tourism.

 

Isn't there?

 

http://www.chiangmai.go.th/english/index.php/welcome/information

 

  •  Agriculture :22.2%, Manufacture :9.5%,Trade & services : 12.5%,hotel & restaurant : 6.9%, Others: 48.9%
 
  • 2,612 factories with invested capita 34 mil.baht employing 42,611 workers.

 

Tourism revenue in 2015

  • 73,757.45 million baht
  • local Thais 48,559.98 mil.baht (39%)

 

Yes, there IS some manufacturing, mostly in the Lamphang area, as I said before. Quite a few foreign companies have located there. There are several other areas with some manufacturing. And there certainly IS substantial agriculture.  But Thailand, and Chiang Mai in particular, made their bones in Tourism, which certainly carried the real weight. The proof of which is the current lack of work for Chiang Mai locals, long food lines every few days around town, and restaurants and guest houses shutting down.

 

Instead of new condos, new hotels, and new tourist attractions, Chiang Mai might develop new Industrial Parks, and offer start-up incentives for Thai companies to relocate.  According you the figures you presented, manufacturing accounts for less than 10%.  Those "OTHERS" you list (which I'm sure includes quite a high percentage of the tourist dollar) account for almost 50%.

 

More can be done with agriculture on a very local level. In Japan, you don't see vacant lots between apartment buildings. Some local has rented it and turned it into a rice paddy.  10mX20m rice paddies are everywhere inside cities and towns. I'm not talking about normal-sized farms... These are little plots are planted by John Q Local, and help feed his family.  But that's not a workable plan for the entire population. Chiang Mai, and Thailand as a whole, needs to diversify if it is to be financially stable in today's market. 

It is NOT up to us Farang to make the plans. This is Thailand. It's a Thai problem to be solved by Thais.

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42 minutes ago, FolkGuitar said:

 

 

It is NOT up to us Farang to make the plans. This is Thailand. It's a Thai problem to be solved by Thais.

At last 😀 , the penny has dropped.😎

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Malibukid has hit an important nail squarely on the head. 

I said this at the very beginning of the covid madness -- put those out of work to use in public works improvement. People who would otherwise be struggling for an income would be helped; the ramshackle areas in the city would get a face-lift and the general social benefits of having a better, cleaner environment are manifest. But of course nothing of the sort was done. In fact, it almost seemed that, for example, road-cleaning crews vanished. 

Of course, there are road works -- the second ring road being a large one -- but there are literally thousands of places around the city that need minor repairs or a good, deep cleaning. 

 

In management, there is a basic notion of, "Before starting to fix something, find out if the problem actually exists." 

 

The entire premise of this thread is that since non-domestic tourism is dead, for now, we should move away from that. If foreign tourists were not going to come back at all, or not for five or 10 years, this might be viable. But the fact is that all this hysteria relating to a virus doesn't necessarily mean that tourists will not be returning, just not right away. 
If the idea is to alter a few things like the walking streets in ... was it Pattaya or Phuket? to be for Thais, that's one thing. That's a temporary measure, easily rolled back, but if you are talking about major changes, it's worth keeping in mind that this is a temporary phenomenon. People around the world are starting to wake up to the realization that covid is dangerous for only a certain section of people -- one size does not fit all -- and that the cure is severely injuring the patient. 

 

So I think it's a good business idea to put out of work people on government jobs that will enhance the infrastructure of the nation while temporarily clapping up the facades of "for Thais" makeovers of formerly all dirty farang hang outs. 

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The truth is that Thailand was slipping prior to the virus... and many expats, etc., were already looking for alternatives due to less visa hassles, nicer receptions, and exhaust at being called derogatory names like "Farang".  Thailand is exposing itself as being a bit fat and complacent; I'm sorry but the vast majority of expats and longer-term visitors are good people who love and respect Thailand, (I know I do). Thailand and especially the Thai people very well may end up missing us Farangs if indeed they are trying to get rid of us.  I hope they are not, but there are alternatives that will flourish if given the opportunity; I know because I've already experienced some.

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On 10/10/2020 at 5:22 PM, FolkGuitar said:

Perhaps it's time to rethink the revenue production for Chiang Mai. Coming up with a plan is certainly better than sitting around bemoaning the loss of tourist dollars.

Not to worry it is all self correcting even now.

 

Not to forget it was not the Thai people who made Chiang Mai a city driven by Tourist Dollars

Chiang Mai & possible many more of Thailand's once busy tourist driven provinces will wither now.....of course

 

That these Thai provinces will change horses is stating the obvious of course they will do what they will do to survive.

 

Moan? of course & you would too no different than all the folks in Detroit moaned when car manufactures left town along with their payrolls

 

But, do not make the mistake of thinking it is or will be just Thai's bemoaning the loss of what tourists dollars brought to Chiang Mai.

Expats in the last 20 years have grown to love the expat/tourist driven places to eat/shop etc. Many of those where started to target tourists not

expats as there is not a big enough expat population to support it all & those will also now close up.

 

 

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On 10/11/2020 at 11:07 PM, trevoromgh said:

I've not been in Chiang Mai that long but I get the impression that the residents, like the Thai people themselves, are very resilient and will adapt to the circumstances. 

The good thing I've noticed is the infrastructure planning for the city seems very good with the ring road system with flyovers and underpasses and there seems an abundance of land available.  The new road between Lamphun and Chiang Mai provides immense capacity for industrial and manufacturing companies along the way with scope for new residential villages as well.  From what I've seen already the reliance on the tourism industry was starting to change before the pandemic came along and this will just cause the switch to happen earlier than expected.

You bring up a good point. IMO C M is two cities- the old part in and around the old city which is where the tourism is centered and everything over the superhighway which is all new and non touristed.

 

If I were in charge I'd be using the opportunity to sort out the mess that old C M has become and make it more attractive for tourists when they eventually return, as they will. I'd certainly be relocating the university to outside the old city. My Thai nephew was there and the area is a disaster zone, IMO.

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