Chiang Mai is seeing more and more Chinese tourists coming in. It is very likely that, within five years, incoming tourists from China will overtake those from everywhere else combined. Chiang Mai is one of Thailand's most attractive tourist destinations
However, the government doesn’t seem to realise this. There are still cases of tourist mugging in the city. This problem will become more serious given that most Chinese tourists, especially females, enjoy travelling alone, and sometimes venture into dark alleys at night where even the locals are wary to go.
Besides the safety issue, street signs in Chinese should be added, courses in Mandarin should be provided for local service-providers and small traders, and more tourist information centres are needed.
The government must pay more attention to Chiang Mai as an important tourist destination, and thus prepare it for the increasing number of tourists from China.
PM Yingluck cannot afford to treat the Tourism Ministry as a place to dump underachieving politicians any more.