A developer has pulled the plug on a 500 million baht construction project in Chiang Mai.
Sunshine International, Thailand’s leading brand of retirement residences told Thaivisa on Tuesday that their project which was due to be constructed near the city centre has now been cancelled.
Sunshine International, a retirement property which offers residents round the clock medical facilities, with on site doctors and nurses, and state of the art facilities, was due to be built on a five rai site in central Chiang Mai.
However, the company says that due to the problems the city is experiencing with poor air quality, smog and pollution it has been forced them to cancel development of the Sunshine International Retirement Residences.
“It’s a real shame”, said Andrew Stocks of Sunshine International.
Andrew said that his company had seen an increase in people contacting them saying they have been forced to leave Chiang Mai because of the smog.
He said that due to the negative impact on the local economy, as well as the impact the pollution has on people’s health, the project is currently not viable.
Andrew said his company will now focus on its other retirement projects located in Hua Hin, as well as a soon to be announced project in Phuket. He said Sunshine International would consider returning to Chiang Mai again if the smog situation improved.
However, Andrew said he believes the pollution situation will not improve until proper action is taken against those responsible for the burning that is taking place across Chiang Mai.
He called on the authorities to step in to help protect the livelihoods of local people who rely on income generated by the tourism industry in the region.
The news comes after the Tourism Authority of Thailand said it expected tourism levels in northern Thailand during Songkran to drop by 10 percent due to the problems with haze.
According to The Nation, TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the haze problem in the northern region would have a direct impact on tourism levels in the North during the Songkran festival from April 12 to 16.
It is expected that the number of tourists will drop by more than 10 per cent compared to last year. Hence, tourist groups are expected to adjust their travel plans and choose to travel to other areas in the Kingdom instead.
As a result, tourism revenue in Chiang Mai and northern Thailand will be reduced by 2 billion baht.
At present hotel occupancy rates in Chiang Mai are at approxiamtely 60 percent, the Nation reported.