The world’s attention has turned to Thailand as a rescue operation is underway to save a group of boys trapped inside the flooded Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai.

Upon writing this, eight of the 12 boys have been freed thanks to the tireless efforts of foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALS.

While the successful rescue of the entire group is at the forefront of people’s minds, tourism operators are already seeing how the incident could put this area of Northern Thailand on the map.

Tourists love Thailand, but The Chiang Rai Province which sits 795 kilometres north of Bangkok, is not particularly well-known to most visitors.

Perhaps the Thai cave rescues will change all this?

In an article titled “Disaster Cave to be Next Tourist Attraction”,The Bangkok Post reported that Thailand’s Tourism Authority was already expecting the cave to become a popular spot for tourists.

Director of the Chiang Rai office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Karuna Dechatiwong, told The Bangkok Post that the authority was already looking to work with local authorities and private sectors to promote the cave.

“After the rescue team found the 12 young football players and their coach on Monday night, the cave has become of interest for both local and foreign travellers.”

Director of the Chiang Rai office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand,Karuna Dechatiwong

She said people may want travel and activity information before visiting the area, and the agency was ready to work out a route to the cave and other destinations in Chiang Rai.

They’re looking at creating new route, not only to promote the cave, but also to promote nearby communities such as a village that makes mulberry tree paper, an Isan Lanna community, and a community that and a community that produces seed tea.

The rescue operation has also highlighted the kind nature of the locals who are continually offering their support as the efforts continue.

READ: BE AMAZED!: There are so many things you missed on your last trip to Thailand

READ: Spice up your life: take a culinary journey to the north of Thailand

Do you think the ‘disaster cave’ will become a Thai tourist attraction? Let us know below.