Residents of Chiang Mai, Thailand are concerned about the impact of dangerous air pollution on the tourism sector

The northern Thai city of Chiang Mai has been shrouded in thick smog and dangerous levels of air pollution, with residents worried about the impact on the tourism sector and the health of tourists.

Smog from forest fires and farmers burning stubble blankets the popular tourist city of Chiang Mai, and IQAir, a global air monitoring platform, says Chiang Mai has overtaken regularly polluted areas like Lahore and Delhi to become among the world’s most polluted.

The residents signed a petition asking the government to take immediate action on this air pollution.

On April 11, Chiang Mai’s level of dangerous PM2.5 particulate matter was more than 30 times higher than the World Health Organization’s annual limit, IQAir said. The situation will be bad this year as well. Normally, air pollution doesn’t last that long. But foreigners will see the news,” said Kanchara Bontan, head of CM Siam Travel travel company.

The pollution is mainly caused by farmers burning their fields, said Sewet Pompya Chan, global atmosphere consultant at Thailand’s National Astronomical Research Institute.

According to the Ministry of Public Health, in 2023, nearly two million people in Thailand were treated in hospitals for respiratory diseases caused by air pollution.

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