MYANMAR people are queuing up to visit Mae Sai in Chaing Rai province from Tachileik in Shan state with the reopening of First Friendship Bridge yesterday (Feb 20) and it is expected that the cross-border trade and tourism will generate 10 billion baht a year, Naewna newspaper said today.
Ms. Phakaimas Viera, president of the Mae Sai Chamber of Commerce, said the reopening of this checkpoint after three years of closure over the Covid-19 pandemic is greatly beneficial for trade and tourism in this northern area.
The cross-border trade and tourism is expected to amount to 10-20 million baht a day with consumer goods and household necessities in demand by Myanmar people who prefer products from Thailand.
The daily trade turnover is expected to double on holidays.
Phakaimas added that the cross-border trade estimate does not include income from other areas such as spending on restaurants, general stores, beauty parlours, barbershops, department stores and medical facilities.
The annual total is expected to be as high as 10 billion baht and soar to an equivalent of 28 billion baht a year recorded at Mai Sai Checkpoint Two in some years.
Moreover popular tourism attractions, such as Tham Luang cave and Khun Nam Nang Non forest park, are being improved. Around April Thailand’s longest skywalk will open at Mae Sai’s Wat Phra That Doi Wao to view the border area and it is expected to be very popular with both Thai and foreign tourists.
Long lines of cars and people waiting to cross over from Tachileik to Mae Sai town. Photos: Naewna