PHUKET: Thousands of visitors turned out for the opening day of the Andaman Travel Trade 2011 yesterday.
The bustling event, held with the aim of linking tour operators with businesses throughout Thailand’s six provinces along the Andaman seaboard, continues today at the Convention Hall at Phuket Rajabhat University.
Attending this year’s event are 302 tourism operators from 28 countries and 160 operators from throughout Phuket, Phang Nga, Ranong, Krabi, Trang and Satun.
“Most of the Andaman operators are happy with this event. They have had a chance to exchange business cards with foreign tourism operators,” said Phuket Tourist Association President Somboon Jirayus.
“This will give the foreign operators a wider selection [of facilities and travel opportunities that] they can provide to their customers. We expect that their customers will extend the length of their stay because of this.”
The foreign operators have been divided into two groups, each with the opportunity to visit Phi Phi Island.
TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing Juthaporn Rerngronasa, who chaired the opening yesterday, had in the run up to the event highlighted Brazil as an expanding market for incoming Phuket tourism.
In person at the show yesterday confirming Ms Juthaporn’s assertion was Leonardo Capistrano, a representative from PMG Capital Marketing in Sao Paolo.
“I am in a group from Brazil. This is my first time visiting Thailand. It is very nice to have this event. I can now get in touch with local hotels, local suppliers and local service providers.
“We expect to see more new hotels being represented at this event, such as hotels from the northern part of the island or different islands in this area, not just hotels from Patong.
“In our group there are many important tour operators. I think from now on we have more information about Phuket, so we have more alternatives for our customers,” Mr Capistrano said.
“Beaches, jet-skiing, diving, cultural sights, playing in the water, snorkeling, Patong nightlife and eating Thai food are very attractive aspects of Phuket for us,” he added.
— Pimwara Choksakulpan
BOI approves new rail services, new port investment
PHOTO: Duangjai Asawachintachit, BOI secretary general
The Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) has laid out strategies to boost the development of rail services and the country’s cruise tourism.
Duangjai Asawachintachit, BOI secretary general, says the latest BOI meeting chaired by the Prime Minister had resolved to instigate measures to attract investment in rail development and related infrastructure for continued economic growth.
According to Duangjai, investment projects for rail development and related sectors will be entitled to a tax break of 50% for the first three to five years of investment.
The BOI also approved measures to stimulate the cruise tourism business, with the aim of attracting more tourists to the kingdom.
Moreover, the BOI has introduced a plan to attract aerospace investment to U-Tapao Airport in 2019 as part of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project, as the EEC Office is planning to develop an “Aerotropolis” which will stretch over 30 kilometers from the airport.
Additionally, the meeting endorsed the 7-year strategic investment promotion plan, spanning 2015 to 2021, which it is anticipated will contribute 418 billion baht to the country’s GDP.
Chinese foreign policy – On track
“When Japanese trading house Itochu and train maker Hitachi withdrew from a soon-to-be-decided $7 billion tender for a high-speed rail project near Bangkok, it appeared to be another victory for China and its grand plans to connect Southeast Asia with railways.
Thailand has for decades been the centerpiece of Tokyo’s strategy for Southeast Asia, and long-discussed plans to build extensive shinkansen-style rail lines in the country’s east and north were meant to cement the relationship between the two nations.
But while Japan’s ambitions have been stalled by disagreements about financing and other details, Beijing has managed to push ahead with construction of a separate high-speed rail line in northern Thailand. To some, the rail projects are a symbol of China’s growing influence in a country where Japan had spent decades building ties.”
The article predicts that the Chinese investment into South East Asian rail services is part of its broader ‘belt and road’ policy that is stretching out into new routes and connecting regions, and China, with hitherto remote parts of the asian continent.
“China’s high-speed rail ambitions in Southeast Asia don’t end in Bangkok, however. Under its planned 3,000-km pan-Asian railway network, Chinese rail lines will extend even further south, stretching through Malaysia and feeding into Singapore.”
China’s reach southwards will allow it to exert greater political influence on places like Singapore which, for now, still retains strong connections to Washington. Investing in high-speed railways all the way from China’s borders to the tip of the Malay Peninsula is a lot more than just an economic investment, it’s a high-profile symbol of China’s new influence in the region where issues such as ‘Taiwan’ and it’s demands in the South China Sea have caused prickly negotiations with the ASEAN countries.
But to reach Singapore, China must first get Malaysia on side…
“A dramatic recent shift in Malaysian politics has put China’s plans for Singapore on hold, however. After his election in May, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad decided to hold up “for now” the $20 billion 688-km east coast rail line connecting southern Thailand to Kuala Lumpur, and postpone for two years a 350-km high-speed rail link between the Malaysian capital and Singapore.”
The article says that these ‘investments’ are actually just loans for high-priced infrastructure that often cannot be repaid by smaller economies….
“China typically provides loans, not grants, for foreign infrastructure projects, and takes possession of the project if the recipient is unable to repay its debt – as happened with a port in Sri Lanka. Such instances have prompted critics in the West to accuse China of practicing ‘debt diplomacy’.”
Read more of this fascinating and important article from Nikkei Asia Review HERE.
Thailand opens doors to cryptocurrencies – Thaiger Bites
Divisions are forming across Asia with regards to cryptocurrencies. Some nations such as China are constantly stomping on anything to do with crypto assets but others, Thailand being the latest, are opening their digital doors to the fledgling industry.
Over the past year Thailand has warmed to crypto and this latest raft of official licenses is a big boost to the industry in the country and region as a whole. Military rulers and the central bank remains wary which is no surprise and have issued warnings to investors. Overall though the sentiment is positive and an official ICO portal has even been proposed by the SEC.
Read more about this story from News BTC HERE.
(Thaiger Bites provides these short snippets for stories we believe of interest to our readers)
Top 10 scams in Thailand
The Top 10 Beaches in Phuket
PABUK: Latest information on the path of the storm across the Gulf
Phuket vs Penang – The two pearls go head to head
Leo returns to ‘The Beach’
UPDATE: The Hangover – Pattaya
Thailand now in world’s top 100 most expensive places to live for expats
Seven arrested over illegal pre-wedding photo shoots in Phuket
Foreigner woman caught on video spray painting road in Rawai
Foreigners frolicking off Jomtien beach attract police attention
Phuket’s Top 10 Beach Clubs
“Pabuk” heads towards southern provinces
“Don’t go to Thailand” – another Chinese social media firestorm
Beer truck overturns in Rassada, Phuket – VIDEO
Pabuk: Koh Phi Phi travellers stranded
Phuket house keeper keeps 2,600 meth pills and 3kg of marijuana at house in Rawai
Crisis meetings in Bangkok today over smog solutions
Baby elephant dies from horrific wounds after being caught in hunter’s trap
Bangkok smog: Oil refineries being asked to upgrade quality of diesel
Phuket police launch search for man in Facebook post pointing a gun at his head
Air quality for Thailand – January 16
77 year old Swedish tourist rescued at Patong Beach – VIDEO
Bangkok smog to hit Thailand in the tourism pocket
Weather for January 16
Thai ‘hijacking’ elephants get GPS collar trackers
Smog settles in as a chronic Bangkok problem
Thai-owned Dusit D2 Hotel under fire in Nairobi
The big ‘fake’ Indian wedding
Kamala lifeguard dies in motorbike accident in Cherng Talay
Australian woman sends desperate messages from Thai immigration detention
PABUK a tropical storm, not a typhoon
Single Use Plastics. The BIG issue for Thai Environment Day.
Annissa Flynn – Pro women’s World Flowboarding Champion
TEST DRIVE GOOLGE TRANSLATE ทดสอบไดรฟ์ GOOGLE TRANSLATE
Phuket’s Tsuanmi Alert System
Canadians will be able to use consular services at the Australian Consulate in Phuket
NO Plastic Bag! @ Central Phuket
Why did so many Chinese passengers die in the boat sinking?
Blue Tree Phuket, a world-class HUGE waterpark
The new Central Phuket: Interview with Central Pattana’s Pakorn Partanapat
The battle of Phuket’s boat shows
Phuket’s beach lifeguard situation is not sustainable
The miracle at Tham Luang Caves
Should Phuket’s beaches be closed until this crocodile captured.
Love Rawai FB page captures the actual crocodile, on video
Phuket3 days ago
Seven arrested over illegal pre-wedding photo shoots in Phuket
Thailand4 days ago
Thai cabinet extends visa-fee-waiver until after Songkran
Thailand2 days ago
A reduction of 100 million+ plastic bags at 7-eleven stores in one month
Thailand23 hours ago
Thai woman arrested for killing German husband in 10 million baht insurance scam
Pattaya2 days ago
Pattaya ranked fourth healthiest city in the entire world
Thai Life3 days ago
Thailand named in top ten places in the world to retire
Phuket2 days ago
23 Filipino tourists escape serious injury in Bangkok – Phuket bus accident in Chumphon
Thailand4 days ago
VIDEO: Woman has meltdown in Thai airport