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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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Bangkok

Professor: Military government too interested in tourism – not people’s welfare

Greeley Pulitzer

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Professor: Military government too interested in tourism – not people’s welfare | The Thaiger

A professor of Rangsit University has criticised the previous military government for focusing too much on tourism and not enough on the welfare of the Thai people. The professor was speaking at Chulalongkorn University at a seminar discussing street stalls and urban development.

She questioned the National Council for Peace and Order’s policy of clearing street vendors in all but a few areas such as Yaowarat and Khao San Road that mainly cater to tourists.

She claimed that the NCPO – in power since the coup of 2014 until this year’s election – was more interested in economic development through tourism than in the welfare of the public.

Having affordable street food options was not just about tourism, she said, it was vital for poor workers who have migrated from the countryside, adding that it was part of an informal rather than a formal economy.

“For years people had earned their living from selling goods and services, including food, on the streets.”

This in turn provided an affordable option to eat for workers who came to Bangkok on for large investment projects. The issue, she said, was not just about tourism but the wider economy that might benefit.

The professor noted that CNN had once called Bangkok the best place in the world for street food but this had changed with the sanitized food trucks that have appeared since stalls and vendors were banned from most areas.

The Thaiger notes that banning street vendors has divided the capital. Many are happy that the sidewalks are easier to navigate, but others – including tourists – have said that the lifeblood and character of the city has suffered.

SOURCE: Naew Na | ThaiVisa Forum

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Bangkok

Stricter controls and paperwork putting brakes on residential property market

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Stricter controls and paperwork putting brakes on residential property market | The Thaiger

The honorary president of the Thai Housing Business Association, Atip Bijanonda, is tipping the local residential market may fall by up to 10% this year starved of economic confidence, the global economic slowdown and the loan-to-value limits.

But he also believes the situation is far from the situation leading up to the 1997 economic collapse.

The Greater Bangkok residential market is now valued at 372 billion baht (in 2018). That’s a rise of 29% compared to the year earlier. So the drop this year is off the back of a very successful 2017.

For this year the market has fallen by 5%, according to the Thai Housing Business Association, with the largest declines in Q2, in retaliation to the LTV limits taking on April 1.

Some of Thailand’s major developers are now shelving some projects as the market soaks up a glut of properties constructed over the past two years.

Three property associations – the Housing Business Association, the Thai Condominium Association and the Thai Real Estate Association – are having meetings with the finance minister discussing the current property market.

Topics for discussion are the improvement in property regulation, construction permits, licences and stricter controls over developers and lending. The associations also want to discuss the current delays on Environmental impact assessments (EIAs). They say that since the responsibility for EIAs was handed over to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration from the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning in 2016, the process is now taking much longer.

Speaking to the Bangkok Post, Kobsak Pootrakool, deputy secretary-general to the PM for political affairs says that stricter lending criteria and the LTV rules are the main factors obstructing mortgage approvals for homebuyers

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Bangkok

A cocktail of beer and insulin blamed for ATM robbery

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A cocktail of beer and insulin blamed for ATM robbery | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Sanook.com

“After the combination of beer and insulin, Prakit grabbed a metal pole and drove his motorbike to the ATMs.”

A diabetic man is blaming his insulin injections after going on an ATM robbery spree. The man had three attempts to break into ATMs in one night, all unsuccessful. The incidents happened in the early hours of October 9. He was was arrested the next day on October 10.

The Sam Dam Police in Bangkok arrested 36 year old Prakit after a short investigation.

He had used a white Yamaha motorbike with no license plates as his “getaway of choice”.

Police received information about a man attempting to break into ATMs in the area. He used a metal pole to try and pry the ATMs open, but turns out it wasn’t quite as easy as he thought. His efforts contributed approximately zero baht.

The first ATM belonged to Kasikorn Bank, the second to Thanachart Bank, and the last ATM also belonged to Kasikorn Bank. The first 2 ATMs were located near the Bangbon Police Station while the last ATM was located around the Samdam Police Station (possible unwise selections of location).

Police reviewed the CCTV footage and tracked Prakit’s route home. They then arrested him and found the motorbike used as the vehicle in the robbery captured by the security footage.

Prakit admitted to attempting to break into the ATMs. He said he’d been drinking 6 to 7 bottles of beer just after having an insulin shot for his diabetes. He told police it made him go crazy “losing all sense of right and wrong”.

His sugar level was over 400 so he needed to take the shot right away when he was drinking. After the cocktail of beer and insulin, Prakit grabbed a metal pole and headed to the ATMs.

He insists that he went crazy and lost all sense of right and wrong saying he wore his pants inside out to commit the crime.

Prakit is currently awaiting prosecution.

SOURCE: Sanook.com | Thai Residents

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