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Chinese resurgence, Russian stability feature in tourist arrivals for the start of 2019

The Thaiger

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Chinese resurgence, Russian stability feature in tourist arrivals for the start of 2019 | The Thaiger

The Chinese returned in numbers at the start of 2019 giving the Land of Smiles a spectacular start for the year with a total of 3.7 million visitors in January 2019. This was a nearly 5% rise in total tourist numbers from the same month last year.

Mainland China continues to lead Thailand’s source market with just over a million arrivals in January, a 9.3% growth year on year and an astonishing 20% growth against December 2018’s arrivals.

The report from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports represents a firming up of the ‘new normal’ where the distinction between the old high and low seasons has mostly vanished as the tourism mix diversifies and Thai tourism matures into an all-year tourism destination.

The turnaround, following last July’s tragic Phoenix boat incident where 47 Chinese tourists drowned south west of Phuket, is significant and gives Thailand’s ‘teflon’ tourist industry an excellent start for the year.

Following the Phoenix disaster negative social media and some ill-conceived comments from Thai leaders caused a significant drop in Chinese tourism, particularly in the southern island of Phuket where bookings dropped off between 20-50% in various hotel sectors. At the time six Chinese airlines cancelled flights between Chinese cities and Phuket.

For non-Asian arrivals, Russia retains its place as the largest source market for Thailand with 229,518 arrivals in January, a small rise year-on-year. At the same time German, French, Finnish and Swedish arrivals declined, between 3.5 and 14.6%, respectively.

Arrivals from the UK and Norway increased by over 3% in the same period.

Three Eastern European Countries – Poland, Kazakhstan and Ukraine – also registered arrivals over 100,000 visitors and increases in numbers compared to 12 months ago. Tourists from the US and Canada also rose in the same period. Australian visitors dropped a small 1.5% and New Zealand visitors down 5.7%. Australian visitors to Thailand has been consistent for almost 20 years, never rising or falling very much, despite the changes in fortune for the AUD vs the Thai baht.

One of the big improvers, and increasingly important feeder market is Indian tourism. January 2019 saw a rise of nearly 25% compared to the year before. It is projected that Indian tourism will continue to rise throughout this year.

The Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports forecasts 41.1 million foreign tourists for 2019 with China, ASEAN countries and Europe contributing rises this year.

Chinese resurgence, Russian stability feature in tourist arrivals for the start of 2019 | News by The Thaiger

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Pattaya

Torrential rains again wash away parts of Pattaya Beach, more on the way

Greeley Pulitzer

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Torrential rains again wash away parts of Pattaya Beach, more on the way | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: The Pattaya News

Heavy rains have caused flooding and beach erosion on Pattaya’s recently reclaimed beach yesterday afternoon. The torrential rain continued for many hours around Central Pattaya. Heavy rains are also expected again today (forecast below).

Many areas ended up flooded causing local traffic hazards and delays. Water flooded down storm drains and onto Pattaya’s beaches and into the sea, literally washing the beach away in some locations.

Tourists and swimmers avoided the water as they saw “an unidentified white substance on the water’s surface”. The white scum appeared to look like some sort of detergent or foam which had washed down the city’s drains.

Last year some 400 million baht was spent re-building some of Pattaya’s beaches which end up damaged and washed out to sea any time there are heavy rains.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

Torrential rains again wash away parts of Pattaya Beach, more on the way | News by The Thaiger Torrential rains again wash away parts of Pattaya Beach, more on the way | News by The Thaiger

Torrential rains again wash away parts of Pattaya Beach, more on the way | News by The Thaiger

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Bangkok

Thai High Speed Railway linking airports now to be signed off on October 25

The Thaiger

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Thai High Speed Railway linking airports now to be signed off on October 25 | The Thaiger

The State Railway of Thailand and the Charoen Pokphand Group-led consortium are putting pen to paper and signing the contract for the high-speed train project on October 25.

The much-discussed high speed railway will link Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-Tapao international airports. The new SRT board was approved by the Thai cabinet today.

Deputy PM Anutin Charnvirakul says he is confident the contract will now be signed, adding that he has already met with Supachai Chearavanont, CEO of the CP group, and assured him of the government’s full cooperation and support.

The Charoen Pokphand-led consortium won the bid to develop the 224-billion baht high-speed train infrastructure as a signature project for the government’s flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) high-tech investment hub. The train service is scheduled to be operational in 2024 (The Thaiger is taking bets now).

Recently, however, the CP-led consortium raised concerns over land expropriation and eviction problems and asked for the government to share the risk on this issue. The Transport Ministry has already rejected the request putting the onus on CP as part of the proposal.

Mr. Anutin explained that, in any large infrastructure project involving expropriation of land, it is usual for the government or state agency not to be able to hand over the land to the contractor all at once. In such cases, the contracted completion date can be moved back.

He said the CP-led consortium should proceed with the high-speed train project without further delay because 70% of the land is ready to be handed over.

Meanwhile, the deputy PM admits that he didn’t know why the entire SRT board resigned en masse, delaying the signing of the contract, and denied that he had put pressure on the board to quit. He also denied that Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, also of the Bhumjaithai party, objected to the SRT board’s mass resignation because the latter wanted the contract to be signed quickly.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

Thai High Speed Railway linking airports now to be signed off on October 25 | News by The Thaiger

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Road deaths

Thailand road toll: 554 dead this month, 11,462 this year

The Thaiger

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Thailand road toll: 554 dead this month, 11,462 this year | The Thaiger

PHOTO: U-Turn crash in Bangkok – Daily News

Daily news reports fatalities at the scene of accidents yesterday claimed the lives of 21 people. Yesterday was a busy day on Thailand’s roads at the end of a long weekend.

They say the numbers reported are only those that die at the scene. In reality, when hospital deaths and all regions report their stats, the figures end up much higher.

So far this October 554 have died at the scene of accidents resulting in a yearly total nationwide of 11,462. Thailand is recognised by the World Health Organisation as the fifth highest road toll in the world, per capita.

Figures are reported daily by Daily News who highlight the need to be vigilant at U-turns in their story about this air-conditioned bus (above)on Route 29 that collided with the back of a container truck.

Seven passengers on the bus were injured in the accident on Pahonyothin Road near the Kesri 5 housing estate in Klong 1, Klong Luang district north of Bangkok. The truck driver was trying to execute a U-turn at the time.

SOURCE: Daily News | ThaiVisa

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