The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is providing a further update regarding air quality concerns in Bangkok and its surrounding provinces.
Thailand’s air quality and situation reports
Tourists can monitor the overall air quality of Thailand provided daily by the Pollution Control Department, Ministry of Public Health, by log on to the website (link) or download the mobile application “Air4Thai” on App Store (link) or Google Play (link).
Thailand’s tourism and transport services
All tourism-related services in Bangkok and its surrounding provinces as well as all destinations across Thailand are operating as usual.
These include ongoing tourism activities and services in beach resort destinations especially in the South; such as, Phuket, Krabi and Trang, and in the East, such as Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat. Meanwhile the overall weather situation of northern Thai destinations; such as, Chiang Rai, Nan and Sukhothai is moderate.
All events and festivals remain as scheduled, including the TAT’s Chinese New Year 2019 celebrations planned in Bangkok at Siam Square (4 to 6 February) and Yaowarat Road (5-6 February), Chiang Mai at Maya Lifestyle Shopping Centre (5 to 6 February), and Phuket at Central Phuket Floresta (5 to 6 February).
The Amazing Thailand Marathon Bangkok (ATM) 2019 on 3 February (as of 31 January 2019) is also still on schedule, for further update please visit the official website.
All transport services, including air, rail, road and water transport are also operating as usual. All airports as well as all domestic and international flights are operating as usual.
Thailand’s measures to tackle the problem and TAT’s actions
The Royal Thai Government and all authorities involved are putting the utmost afford on working to tackle the problem and minimise the impact of the smog on visitors from abroad as well as residents.
- Checkpoints to monitor emissions from buses and old cars.
- Considering banning large vehicles from entering Bangkok city centre from 10.00-15.00 Hrs. (Currently, lorries are prohibited during rush hours, 05.00-10.00 and 18.00-21.00 Hrs.)
- Cleaning roads by spraying water.
- Handing out N95 face masks in some areas.
- Creating artificial rain.
- Using planes to spray water over haze-heavy areas.
- Ensuring there would be no outdoor burning, particularly along the sides of highways.
- Closing industrial factories part of each day.
- Considering long-term solutions including more environmental-friendly fuel for motorists, the use of carpools and other driving restrictions to reduce toxic dust.
As TAT is not in a position to undertake any actions pertaining to matters outside of these parameters, but we are more than happy and ready to support the concerned authorities to help minimise the problem.
TAT will continue to assess the overall situation and issue timely updates as appropriate, while assuring all that the relevant Thai authorities are doing everything possible to minimise the impact of the smog on visitors from abroad as well as residents.
TAT has also sought cooperation from the private sector, including the Thai Transportation Operations Association to help reduce toxic emissions by urging the members to turn off engine of their vehicle while waiting for tourists at airport or attractions.
In the meantime, TAT advises that tourists should take any necessary precautions to ensure they protect themselves. This include monitoring the air quality index from an official source, such as Thailand’s Pollution Control Department, and wearing a face respirator as a prevention from breathing in airborne dust particles.
Tourists are advised to consult health-certified personnel, such as, a doctor or pharmacist, to make an informed decision when choosing a face respirator. According to Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health, the effectiveness of a range of face masks are varied (see below graphic).