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PM Srettha Thavisin Unveils Bold Vision for Chiang Mai: Digital Hub and Tourism Renaissance

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Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin recently captivated an audience at a tourism event’s grand opening during his visit to the enchanting city of Chiang Mai. With fervor and enthusiasm, PM Srettha extolled Chiang Mai’s potential to transform into a premier digital startup hub in Southeast Asia. His vision was clear: the government is poised to back the province in realizing this high-tech ambition.

Chiang Mai, often hailed as a digital nomad’s paradise and one of the globe’s most creative cities, caught the discerning eye of PM Srettha. No stranger to high accolades, he recalled a conversation with Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc., who shared that Thailand boasts over 300,000 application developers, making it the second-largest pool in Southeast Asia. Such talent, Srettha noted, perfectly positions Chiang Mai to lead in the digital realm.

Highlighting Chiang Mai’s allure, PM Srettha mentioned its recognition as one of the top 10 global hotspots for digital nomads, hosting around 5,000 professionals engaged in diverse digital ventures. His vision extends beyond mere acknowledgment; he dreams of an Apple developer academy right in Chiang Mai to nurture and enhance local talent.

Committed to fostering a thriving digital startup ecosystem, the government pledges to secure additional matching funds, allocate resources for both budding and established startups, amend laws to facilitate growth, and energize the sector with dynamic events like hackathons. This holistic approach aims to propel Chiang Mai to the forefront of digital innovation.

Switching gears to cultural revival, PM Srettha has also tasked the Ministry of Tourism and Sports with spearheading initiatives to rejuvenate the Baan Tawai handicraft art centre. Once a crowning jewel of local tourism, the center has struggled since the COVID-19 pandemic. To restore its former glory, the community has requested new buyers and financial aid to enhance the landscape. In response, PM Srettha assured that by the fourth quarter, the government would organize a series of tourism promotion events to showcase Chiang Mai’s rich heritage and charm to both Thai and international tourists.

In a broader push to amplify Thailand’s tourism appeal, PM Srettha unveiled a new campaign targeting 55 additional cities as “ideal destinations.” While popular spots like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Pattaya retain their allure, this initiative encourages tourists to explore lesser-known treasures such as Lamphun, Lampang, and Phrae. The strategy is straightforward: the longer tourists stay, the more they contribute to the local economy.

From digital dreams to cultural renaissance and expanded tourism horizons, PM Srettha’s vision for Chiang Mai and beyond is both ambitious and inspirational. As the province stands on the cusp of a digital metamorphosis and gears up for a tourism renaissance, the future certainly looks bright—and bustling—with endless possibilities.


  1. Leo June 8, 2024

    I think PM Srettha’s vision for Chiang Mai as a digital hub is incredibly ambitious, but will it really work? It’s not easy to transform an entire city!

    • Sophia Nguyen June 8, 2024

      Ambitious indeed! But Chiang Mai already has a budding digital nomad community. They just need the right support and infrastructure.

      • Leo June 8, 2024

        Infrastructure is key. Without strong internet, proper facilities, and governmental support, the digital hub idea will just remain a dream.

    • techwhiz2020 June 8, 2024

      Honestly, Chiang Mai has the potential but they need to focus more on developing local talent and attracting international investment.

  2. Maria L June 8, 2024

    I’m more interested in the tourism aspect. COVID-19 hit the tourism sector hard, and a revival is desperately needed.

    • Leo June 8, 2024

      Agreed! Using tourism to boost the economy is smart, but they must focus on sustainable tourism practices to preserve local culture and environment.

    • wanderlust33 June 8, 2024

      Yes! Those lesser-known destinations should also be promoted more! Too much focus on big cities like Bangkok overshadows other beautiful areas.

  3. Alex P. June 8, 2024

    All this talk about tech and tourism is great, but what about the local people? Will they benefit or just be displaced by these developments?

    • techwhiz2020 June 8, 2024

      Valid point! Often, such grand visions overlook the actual needs and well-being of local communities.

    • Sophia Nguyen June 8, 2024

      True! It’s important to involve locals in these projects. Employment opportunities and community involvement should be part of the plan.

      • Alex P. June 8, 2024

        Exactly, without community involvement, these projects could lead to more harm than good.

  4. Chaiwat S. June 8, 2024

    The idea of an Apple developer academy in Chiang Mai is fantastic! This will definitely draw more tech enthusiasts to the city.

  5. earth_skies June 8, 2024

    Call me skeptical, but how realistic is it to imagine Chiang Mai competing with established tech hubs? Sounds like wishful thinking to me.

  6. Julie T. June 8, 2024

    I love everything about this plan! Enhancing local crafts, boosting tourism, and pushing digital start-ups—Chiang Mai is on its way to becoming a global sensation.

  7. Ravi Kumar June 8, 2024

    How does PM Srettha plan to amend laws for facilitating growth in startups? Legal bureaucracy is often a huge hurdle.

    • legal_eagle June 8, 2024

      Absolutely, startups often suffer under outdated laws and regulations. Simplifying these would be a game-changer.

    • Ravi Kumar June 8, 2024

      Simplifying is easier said than done. It requires a strong political will and a supportive legislative environment.

      • Julie T. June 8, 2024

        True, but if successful, this could set a precedent for other cities in Thailand to follow.

  8. Hinata June 8, 2024

    Can someone explain why there’s a need to turn Chiang Mai into a tech hub when it’s already famous for its culture and natural beauty?

    • Leo June 8, 2024

      Diversification is key to economic stability. Banking on multiple sectors ensures that when one suffers, others can sustain the economy.

  9. green_guru June 8, 2024

    Hopefully, the government will also focus on environmental sustainability alongside these ambitious projects.

  10. Tom H. June 8, 2024

    Expanding tourism to lesser-known cities sounds great but requires massive investment in infrastructure. Are there any real plans for this?

    • Maria L June 8, 2024

      Yes, and these investments need to be carefully planned to avoid harming local ecosystems and communities.

    • Tom H. June 8, 2024

      Exactly. Careless expansion could lead to more harm than good. Proper urban planning is crucial.

  11. digital_dave June 8, 2024

    Tech startups alone won’t turn Chiang Mai into a tech hub. Universities and research institutions play a crucial role too.

  12. Sandy R. June 8, 2024

    The plan sounds fantastic on paper, but what guarantees do we have that it will actually be executed well and benefit everyone?

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