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Thailand’s tourism numbers continue to soar

Tanutam Thawan

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Thailand’s tourism numbers continue to soar | The Thaiger

The tourists keep arriving, the numbers keep soaring. Assuming the numbers have to plateau at some stage, when will that be?

For the past 20 years, through floods, bombings, coups, political upheavals and a few unsolved, mystery murders, Thailand’s tourist arrival numbers just keep rising and rising, heading into unfamiliar territory. So many people have predicted doom and gloom – “the good days are over” – but still the tourists continue to flock to the Land of Smiles.

Once known to the world as the Land of a Thousand Smiles Thailand’s probably more accurately known these days as the Land of a Thousand 7/11s. If you were going to start a successful business in Phuket in 2017 you’d either open a convenience store or a rubber shop and do a deal with the tour buses. A story in ttrweekly.com has all the numbers….

China continues to dominate Thailand’s inbound tourist arrivals with August ending up with 3,133,411 visits, up 8.6% year-on-year. August was the fourth month, this year, that saw arrivals exceed 3 million, the second highest after January when visits reached 3,197,053.

Other peak travel months when visits exceeded 3 million were March and July.

So where did tourists come from in August?

• China, 982,212 +10.30%

• Malaysia, 277,606 +9.52%

• South Korea, 164,001 +16.52%

• Japan, 162,703 +5.03%

• Laos,158,377 +4.18%

• India, 116,376 +14.77%

• Hong Kong, 93,136 +8.88%

• Vietnam, 90,502 +9.17%

• Cambodia, 82,776 +20.84%

• Singapore, 81,366 + 21.2%.

Most Asian nations have seen their currencies strengthen against the US dollar and they are the main source for Thailand’s tourist arrivals. January to August revenue reached an estimated 1.19 trillion THB, an increase of 7.47% over the same period last year. Tourism earnings represent 12% of Thailand’s total GDP.

August figures, and those for the eight months so far, show China dominates Thailand’s travel supply chain. If there was ever a blip in that pattern it would drive the tourism industry to hit the panic button, as it did during last year’s crackdown on zero-dollar tours.

In 2016 Thailand registered 32.6 million visits. Based on the current performance tourism officials are confident visits will exceed 35 million by the end of the 2017.

 
ORIGINAL STORY: ttrweekly.com



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Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    foot

    September 26, 2017 at 3:41 am

    I’ve been here for 8 years now. I’ve watched how, in the last 3 years, being a real world-class tourist destination is no longer a priority in Phuket.

    In spite of all the rosy tourist projects and percentages, high season now runs from mid December to mid January. It use to be from November through Songkran in April.

    The life guard situation is shameful. Phuket has also done many things to discourage tourism such as the elimination of beach chairs & umbrellas, beach side markets, shops, bars, and restaurants. While, at the same time, Phuket allows many uncontrolled anti-tourism conditions to exist such as tuk-tuk mafia, dangerous driving habits, dangerous uncontrolled roads (Patong Hill), jet-skis and parasailing.

    Like any business, Phuket must reinvest in things free spending tourist desire. Phuket chooses not to do so. Maybe, it’s on orders from Bangkok. Maybe, their hands are tied. But, the failure to reinvested in the money making tourist industry has caused a huge decline in business. High season, business wise, is now December -January. A few years ago it was November-April.

    I love Thailand. The people, weather, food, scents, experiences. But, it’s painful to see the tourism decline with the resulting loss of income to the Thai working class.

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Phuket

Polish man charged after threatening people with a gun in Patong

Tanutam Thawan

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Polish man charged after threatening people with a gun in Patong | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Patong Police

A Polish man has been charged with carrying a gun in public in Patong, Phuket.

Patong Police report that at 6.20pm last night (Tuesday) they were notified that a man was using a gun to threaten others at a hotel on Pisit Koranee Road in Patong.

Police headed to the hotel to find the Polish man. He denied any knowledge about the gun. Then Police questioned his Thai wife. She took police to a room where she gave the gun to police.

The Polish man has now been charged with illegal possession of gun and carrying it in public without a permit.

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Business

Thailand braces itself for a ‘no deal’ Brexit

Tanutam Thawan

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Thailand braces itself for a ‘no deal’ Brexit | The Thaiger

Embattled British PM Theresa May is working against the clock to get her Brexit deal through Parliament after the recent defeats..

The British lawmakers last week voted to reject the option of leaving the European Union’s without a deal, raising questions over the conditions for the UK’s leaving the EU bloc. The deadline for their divorce is only two weeks away.

But economists are warning Thailand to brace for some fallout from the UK exit from the EU because it is more likely to happen than not, just a matter of when.

First of all, no-deal Brexit means the UK will no longer be a part of the EU bloc and will have to revert to World Trade Organisation rules on trade. Made-in-UK goods will be subject to EU tariffs, like that of other non-EU nations. Meanwhile, the price of the EU-made merchandises in the UK may become more expensive as they will have to bear the cost of imported tariffs as well.

According to SCB Economic Intelligence Centre, a no-deal Brexit will impact the UK economy and, consequently, affect British purchasing power overseas. British demand for Thai exports, namely automobiles and parts, and processed chicken meat may reduce.

British expats will also have to face a worsening rate of exchange with the Thai baht, lessening the power of the British pound they bring into the Kingdom for living, retirement or holidays.

Nonetheless, the overall impact on Thai exports should not be significant because the Thai outbound shipment to the UK represents only 1.5 percent of total Thai exports, according to the the think tank of Siam Commercial Bank.

Brexit may also prompt Thailand and the EU to renegotiate some trade deals such as import quota to the EU. Thailand may have to renegotiate the export quota with the EU on processed chicken, as an example. And Thailand may also have to negotiate another chicken export deal with the UK separately after the UK separation from the EU.

Auramon Supthaweethum, Director-General of Department of Trade Negotiations, said Brexit could complicate the process of Thai-EU free trade negotiation, which is scheduled to resume in the second half of this year.

“At any rate, after the Thai general election, Thailand is set to continue to negotiate with the EU on the Thai-EU free trade deal regardless of the UK decision.”

On the bright side, Brexit may prompt the UK investors to pay more attention to potential markets beyond the EU border. At present, direct investment from the UK to Thailand is small, accounting for only 3.5 percent of the total foreign direct investment, according to SCB.

Kasikorn Research Centre note that in addition to Brexit, Thai investors should take into account the consequences of the EU and Japan’s Economic Partnership Agreement which came into force last month.

The EPA could affect the exports of Thai automobile which is part of the Japanese’ supply chains. The EPA will end tariffs of auto and parts between Japan and EU by 2026.

Kasikorn Bank’s think tank says, in light of Brexit, some Japanese automakers will likely relocate some of their car production from the UK to other EU countries to maintain the EU trade privileges. Nissan and Honda have already flagged this probability.

Thus, the destinations for Thai exported automobiles and parts, which are part of the supply chains of Japanese automakers, may also change in accordance with Japanese automakers’ revised business strategy.

While the actual impacts on trade and investment remain to be seen, Brexit has been chiefly attributed to the volatility of the British pound since the referendum in 2016.

The SCB Economic Intelligence Centre say the weaker British pound could dampen the sentiment of British arrivals. They note that UK holidaymakers are among the high spenders in Thailand with 77,600 baht per trip.

“At any rate, since the receipts from British travelers represent only 2.1 percent of the total, the impact on the Thai tourism industry will be insignificant.”

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South

Massive petrol smuggling network uncovered in South

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Massive petrol smuggling network uncovered in South | The Thaiger

by Krissana Thiwatsirikul

PHOTO: Facebook/Thai News Agency 

Thirteen people have been arrested following the largest seizure of smuggled petrol in the South in years.

Soldiers and paramilitary rangers intercepted 290,000 litres of petrol being smuggled at a pier in Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Tha Sala district after a stake-out this morning. Customs and excise officials inspected the petrol and vehicles before handing the matter and the suspects over to the police.

Two modified 20 metre vessels, the Ore Feungfa and Khajornlarp, docked at the pier with 290,000 litres of gasoline in their holds. Officials also impounded four 18-wheel trucks and a six-wheel truck parked nearby ready to take on the shipment.

The 13 suspects apprehended included the boats’ skippers and crewmembers and the truck drivers. Several boat crewmembers jumped into the sea and escaped arrest.

Officials claimed that Somsak Narongdech, skipper of the Ore Feungfa, confessed he had received the shipment in international waters and was going to offload it to the trucks, but he didn’t know the final destination. He reportedly said he handled six or seven such shipments a month.

Yothin Pengsawat, driver of one of the 18-wheel trucks, purportedly said he was supposed to take the petrol to a customer in Nakhon Sawan.

STORY: The Nation

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