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Top 10 World Cities for Overnight Stays 2017

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Top 10 World Cities for Overnight Stays 2017 | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Bangkok, the world city attracting the most overnight stays

Where is the world traveling and where are they staying overnight? There is a big move towards Asia in the latest figures out of the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index 2017.

Travel and tourism in Asia Pacific is showing no signs of slowing down, with the region dominating visitor arrivals once again.

Asia Pacific destinations are also tracking the highest amount of international overnight visitor spending among its top 10 cities. Bringing in $91.16 billion USD in travel expenditure in 2016, Asia Pacific outpaced Europe ($74.74 billion USD), and North America ($55.02 billion USD).

Ranking the world’s 132 top destination cities, the Index analyzes visitor volume and spend for the 2016 calendar year and provides a forecast for annual growth, insights on the fastest growing destination cities, and a deeper understanding of why people travel and how they spend around the world.

“As the fastest growing region for international tourism, Asia Pacific’s travel sector will no doubt continue to serve as a key source of in-market economic growth and development. The rise of leisure and business travel across the region presents a vital imperative for governments and private stakeholders to invest in smart networks and infrastructures that provide seamless experiences for residents, tourists and business travelers.” – Eric Schneider, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, Mastercard Advisors

International overnight visitors to the Top 10 destination cities were up from 2016. According to the Index, Bangkok tracked 19.41 million visitors, while London came in a close second with 19.06 million visitors. Singapore (13.11 million visitors) inched past New York (12.7 million visitors) into fifth position for the first time in three years, while Seoul (12.39 million visitors) leapfrogged three spots into seventh place.

Home to half of the world’s top ten most visited cities, Asia Pacific’s success as a global travel hub has been supported by strong intra-regional travel. Both Singapore and Seoul tracked significant growth, aided by visitors from neighboring countries, particularly those from China. In the Index’s eight-year history, China has grown from being passive contributors to the region’s travel sector to the main driver of growth for visitor arrivals into Asia Pacific’s top destinations.

Overall, forecasts for continued growth in 2017 are positive except for New York, with Tokyo expecting the largest boom.

Top 10 World Cities for Overnight Stays 2017 | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: New York, still in the Top Ten but slowly losing its visitors to Asian destinations.



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Third runway for Suvarnabhumi Airport

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Third runway for Suvarnabhumi Airport | The Thaiger

The Thai cabinet yesterday approved the construction of a third runway at Suvarnabhumi International Airport as part of the country’s ambition to become the aviation hub of ASEAN.

The 21.7 billion baht project will increase the combined capacity of Suvarnabhumi international airport’s runways to 94 arrivals and departures per hour from the current 64, said Lt-Gen Weerachon Sukonthapatipak, deputy government spokesman.

Suvarnabhumi Airport (aka. BKK) was opened in 2006 as Bangkok’s second airport. Initially it replaced the tired Don Mueang Airport but Don Mueang was later revamped as a low-coast airport to service the growing traffic demands.

Meanwhile Suvarnabhumi Airport was, and still is, operating above its designed capacity. An earlier bid to build a third terminal has been mired in controversy and is currently shelved pending a new brief from Airports of Thailand with a new round of design bids called for in the future.

Third runway for Suvarnabhumi Airport | News by The Thaiger

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Thai suki restaurant customer injured as gas cooker explodes

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Thai suki restaurant customer injured as gas cooker explodes | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Facebook.com/สมพงษ์ เเก้วอาจ

A gas canister has exploded at a Moo Katha or ‘suki’  restaurant in the Ram Inthra area of Bangkok. Moo Katha is a very popular kind of restaurant around the country.

Thai Rath reports that Sompong Kaew-art posted on his Facebook that he had been near the restaurant when he heard an explosion. Passersby first thought a tyre had blown out somewhere. But later they found out that a gas canister, used to heat the pan on the table, had exploded.

Poh Teck Tung foundation medics treated a woman at the scene before taking her to hospital. His Facebook post has since been read 40,000 times with 27,000 comments as Thais warned their friends about the exploding gas canister at the restaurants.

SOURCE: Thai Rath

Thai suki restaurant customer injured as gas cooker explodes | News by The Thaiger Thai suki restaurant customer injured as gas cooker explodes | News by The Thaiger

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Junta warned to be careful targeting rivals with petty litigation

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Junta warned to be careful targeting rivals with petty litigation | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Piyabutr Sangkanokkul reports to police yesterday using the, now popular, anti-government three-finger salute – The Nation

by Kai Chanwanpen

While members of pro-democracy parties continue to be targeted with politically-motivated lawsuits, a political scientist is warning this tactic of eliminating political rivals through trivial matters of law could backfire and lead to a legitimacy crisis down the track.

In the latest case, the Future Forward Party secretary-general Piyabutr Sangkanokkul yesterday acknowledged the charges pressed against him by the ruling NCPO, whose chief is a prime ministerial candidate after the March 24 election.

“Seeking advantage over rivals is common in politics. But this cannot be without consequences. They could face questions of legitimacy even if they successfully conspire to attain their goal,” said Attasit Pankaew, a political expert from Thammasat University.

“All the unfairness that can be seen right now will lead people to question if Piyabutr would have been hit with a lawsuit if he were not so popular in the election.”

The pro- and anti-junta blocs have been going after each other since the election with politically motivated, and mostly relatively petty, lawsuits.

But when the court was petitioned to seek the disqualification of junta chief Prayut Chan-o-cha as a prime ministerial candidate because he was a public servant, the ruling went in favour of the incumbent.

While these kinds of political challenges are common around the world, Attasit said that public sentiment could play a major role in making any change.

“It’s how the public responds to the treatment that could improve this culture,” he said.

“Meanwhile, the authority has to provide an explanation and ensure that the due process of law is followed without victimising political rivals.”

Piyabutr has been charged with contempt of court and breaching the computer crime law for reading out a statement in relation to the dissolution of Thai Raksa Chart Party in February.

Piyabutr, a former law lecturer at Thammasat University, yesterday denied the charges. He insisted on his innocence, saying as a law scholar the criticism was meant as an academic comment and that he believed in the justice system.

“The chief of the NCPO is the PM candidate of a political party, which was a rival of Future Forward Party in the election and he has assigned an official to prosecute me for contempt of court,” he said.

“Let me make an observation: the judicial branch is a part of the sovereign state and cannot escape criticism, especially the Constitutional Court which rules on political conflicts and whose judgement is likely to be scrutinised,” Piyabutr told reporters.

“Disagreement with a court judgement is not a crime.”

SOURCE: The Nation

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