Tourism rebounded 25% in Thailand

The number of visitors arriving in Thailand is up 25% over the first five months of 2015.

airport bangkok

Between January and May 2015 the number of foreign visitors arrived in Thailand totaled 12.4 million, an increase of 25% compared to the same period in 2014.

A good performance in perspective
A quite spectacular performance, but in perspective by the fact that the first five months of 2014 were marked by serious political unrest in the form of demonstrations and attacks in Bangkok.

Extrapolating the current trend, Thailand is on track to meet the goal of 28 million visitors in 2015.
By region, strong growth was recorded in arrivals from East Asia, South Asia, Middle East and America.

Only the European market declined, mainly due to lower arrivals from Russia.

Growth driven by China
According to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the top five source markets from January to May 2015 were China (3,273,695), Malaysia (1,397,241), Japan (575,186) Korea (546 520) and Laos (459 225).

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has reported that arrivals from January to May 2015 generated a total of 592.9 billion baht in tourism revenue, an increase of 25.13% compared to the same period in 2014.

During the month of May alone, Thailand welcomed 2,309,250 tourists, an increase of 38.21% compared to May 2014 and 18.79% compared with May 2013.

The Ministry of Tourism has projected that total tourism revenue is expected to reach the 2015 target of 2.2 billion baht, including 1.4 billion baht from international tourism and 800 million baht of domestic tourism.

The highest revenues were generated by travel there by travelers from Israel, who spent an average of 84,995 baht per person per stay t (2230 euros), followed by Sweden (78 177 baht / person / stay), Canada (78,010 baht / person / stay), Switzerland (75,893 baht / person / stay), and Brazil (75,533 baht / person / trip).

During the period January-April 2015, the most visited provinces were Bangkok (18,137,860), followed by Nakhon Ratchasima (5,481,327), Phuket (5,337,616), Chon Buri (4,862,017) and Chiang Mai (2771407).

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Uncertain outlook for the Thai economy

All economic engines seem to have stalled in Thailand, making them very poor economic prospects for 2015, said Mr. Thanawat Polvichai, director of Economic Centre and forecasts of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

The contraction in economic growth, falling exports and domestic consumption, falling agricultural prices and the delayed disbursement of government spending have combined to darken the economic outlook for 2015.Business team deliberating with lawyer

At the beginning of the year, there were few signs of a recovery in domestic demand. In January, the monthly data indicated that private investment and private consumption remained weak.

Exports were also low in January, suggesting that external demand is still lackluster.
Forecasts exports throughout the year that was previously growing 4.1% were revised down to 0.4%.

Only exception that the tourism sector is expected to grow by 13.7% with 28.8 million arrivals scheduled for 2015, based on the recovery observed since early 2015.

Weak exports drag on growth
As economic growth is dependent on exports to Thailand, economic forecasts and Centre of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce considered three scenarios:

Exports increased by 0.4 percent, and the growth rate will be 3.2%.

Export growth is zero and the rate of economic growth will be 2.9%.

The export growth rate was negative at -1%, and the rate of economic growth will be 1.9%.

Mr. Thanawat the likelihood of exports restart is low, however, because the major trading partners of Thailand as the European Union and Japan still experiencing an economic downturn.

The political climate remains tense
Recently, the Supreme Court of Thailand announced that it would launch pousuites against former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on her rice subsidy program.

The trial was set for 19 May.

If found guilty, the former prime minister could face up to ten years in prison, which could put an end to the political domination of his family, or otherwise trigger a new round of protests and riots street.

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In Thailand, hunting hawkers on the streets of Bangkok

They are the exotic streets of Bangkok, with bric-a-brac of their hawker stalls ranging from noodle soup with sex toys. But the authorities have decided to make way on the streets of the capital, threatening an entire segment of the informal economy, provider of thousands of jobs.vendor-traveling-artery-bangkok

Impossible to push a pram on a sidewalk Bangkok without having to zigzag between the skewers vendors, coconut or counterfeit T-shirts, which are the provincial side of the vibrant metropolis of Southeast Asia, despite its more twelve million inhabitants and its skyscrapers.
“You can think that’s part of the charm of Bangkok. But the charm of Bangkok should be accompanied by some order, “says Vallop Suwandee, Councillor for the City of Bangkok.
“Cleaning” of the image of Thailand
This “return sidewalks for pedestrians” coincides with a more general policy of “cleaning” of the image of Thailand since the coup in May 2014.
This was reflected by the ban on street vendors, at least in some symbolic streets like Khao San Road, popular guesthouses backpackers district and paradise far pirated CD sellers and bags imitating luxury brands .
Police ensures that thousands of Bangkok street vendors remain “allowed to sell” in terms of accepting the rules: fall back on less busy streets and open only in the evenings.
Mongkol Moradokpermpun is part of the 3,000 market vendors Khlong Thom, in the historic center of Bangkok. The market had until Sunday to move several kilometers away. “If they do not change their minds, thousands of people will suffer. This will have an impact on our business. Each family will have problems, “says one who is traveling salesman drink for 30 years, while preparing coffee for its customers.
“I can not pay my children’s school fees,” laments as Juttigan Jitcham, noodle vendor in Silom business district of Bangkok, which is part of the city covered ten areas. The ban on the sale day has halved his monthly income, the woman ahead 30 years.
The junta is widely attack the informal sector, with sporadic operations, high-profile against drugs or gambling. For the informal sector as street stalls rhymes with bribes to police, known for their corruption.
Last summer, a military officer has been charged with extorting money to street vendors Patpong red-light district of the Thai capital, synonymous with go-go bars and various stalls.
Similar rigor was imposed in beach resorts like Phuket in the south, where the beaches are now emptied of their mobile canteens and loungers lessors.
Superficial Policy
Narumol Nirathron, a professor at Thammasat University in Bangkok, is concerned with a superficial operation without concern to offer these merchants selling alternative suitable places.
“There are people who are not ready to be moved in such a short time. The sidewalk is not just there for pedestrians but for some people to make a living, “she says, while Thailand has an unemployment rate near zero, thanks to the informal economy.
According to Hall Bangkok, some 20,000 street vendors are recorded. They would be 400,000 according to a study from 2000. And the trend is on the rise. If some will come out rather well compared to factory workers, many of them come from the rural northern and northeastern and live in difficult conditions in slums, some in the city center.
This mass of workers raises annoyance of the inhabitants of Bangkok, even on Facebook where a campaign in favor of this “cleansing” has received nearly 8,000 “like”. Street vendors travel the policy of Singapore in the 1980’s as an example. Rigor impractical in Bangkok.
“The representatives of the authorities and we will hide. And when they leave, we will return, “said a street vendor, requesting anonymity, anticipating a release room rigor.

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The Thai economy at half mast

Less than a year after the arrival of the ruling junta, growth is at half mast. Tourism, the mainstay of the economy, is the first sector to suffer from the military regime of General Prayut Chan-ocha.général Prayuth Chan-ocha

Three years that Thailand had not experienced such a low growth. 0.7% last year against 2.3% in 2013 and 6.4% in 2012 while the country was still recovering from devastating floods last year.

Political instability, security and the coup of 22 May drove away tourists. Martial law still in force frightened those who still wished to stay there, especially Asians. But the fourth quarter is much better.

Growth rebounded to 2.3% of the GDP against 0.6% in the previous quarters. Hotels are not half full but two thirds full. A more stressed by the head of the junta was confident for the new year. The economy should pick, say the experts, if the government undertakes the promised reforms, investment and inject billions of dollars into the economy, especially in the country’s infrastructure.

The downside, however, in the lot of the good news of the fourth quarter: the palm oil production, rubber and pineapple stall. Thailand is now living one of the worst droughts in 15 years.

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Seagate is investing € 410 million in Thailand

Production Seagate on its main site in Thailand will increase by 50% through an investment over 5 years 410 million. 2,500 new jobs are to be added to the current workforce of 16,400 employees.

The hard drive manufacturer has announced an investment of just over € 410 million in Thailand in the next 5 years, reports Reuters. The goal: to increase the production capacity of its largest plant in the country.seagate_thailande

Seagate will construct a new building at its site in Korat (250 kms north of Bangkok), which will be operational in 2016. 2,500 new jobs are to be expected, says the company already has 16,400 employees in the country.

At the heart of the Asian markets
Thailand is a country particularly welcoming for giant hardware costs due to advantageous structure, low wages, but also an ideal location: the Asian market represented 40% of sales of Seagate year.

But the country is also subject to major natural disasters. The 2011 flood had forced two Western Digital factories to momentary closures. Seagate sites, further away from the coast, had not been affected.

Thailand, China and Malaysia are the main countries hard disk manufacturers. Seagate Chinese factories are located in Wuxi and Suzhou. Another factory is located in Malaysia.

In 2009, Seagate had closed its Singapore plant, laying off 2,000 people. Two years earlier, it is the Irish factory in Limavady who also closed with 780 job losses at the end….

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Thailand has about 29 million tourists in 2015

Thailand would flip the page as soon as possible on 2014, with demonstrations, street fighting and victims of attacks that have reduced 6.6% tourism, almost two million visitors.

Probably a little optimistic in view of a possible escalation of tension on the streets of Bangkok, Minister of Tourism and Sports Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul planned to accommodate 28.5 to 29,000,000 foreign tourists this year.airport bangkok suvarnabhumi

The reason for optimism after a disastrous 2014? A very good January through once again with the influx of Chinese tourists.
2,650,000 foreign visitors in January 2015
Nothing in January 2015, Thailand hosted a total of 2.65 million foreign tourists and generated about 120 billion baht revenue, representing an increase from one year to the other 15.9% and 12.7%, respectively.

This is extrapolating this growth throughout the year that we could reach a new record of 29 million, previous lé dating from 2013, with 26.7 million.

According Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports:

“The good performance in January can be attributed to the strong growth in tourist arrivals at international airports throughout the kingdom, with China confirming its position as the country of origin. We plan to continue to enjoy a steady increase the Chinese market in the first quarter, particularly in February due to strong demand from China for celebrations of the Lunar New year. ”
Thailand hosts indeed the largest Chinatown in the world (Yaowarat, Bangkok), which is also the location where takes place the most important cultural events and events of Chinese New Year in Thailand.

The number of tourists visiting Thailand fell by 6.6% in 2014 due to political tensions in the kingdom and a decline in the value of the Russian ruble, but authorities believe that tourism should recover quickly in 2015.

Some 24.7 million tourists visited Thailand in 2014 compared to 26.7 million in 2013. The decrease in the number of tourists had also resulted in a 5.8% decrease in revenue the parks Last year, according to Minister Tourism and Sports Kobkarn Wattanavarangkul.

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GDP is expected to grow by 4% this year after rising 1% in 2014. Criticism against the junta multiply.

Eight months after coming to power, the military junta is trying to get the economy back on track after a particularly disastrous 2014 for growth. Last year, GDP grew by only 1%, but should catch up this year, posting 4% according to forecasts by HSBC. Despite these encouraging figures, the Kingdom barely remember last year’s unrest.
One of the axes of the Prayuth policy, the new leader is to rehabilitate the rice sector in particular by lowering production. The country, which has been leading exporter for forty years, has lost this place, supplanted by Vietnam and India. Bangkok now wants to convert farmland hundreds of thousands of hectares of rice fields in the 10 million that make up the kingdom. The goal is to reduce the production of rice to bring it back to the 2008-2009 level. In addition, farmers will receive subsidies in order to push them to other crops, including sugar.
Anxious to please his electoral base, Yingluck Shinawatra, the former prime minister, is partly responsible for the increase in stocks. She applied a campaign promise that came to buy from producers harvest their 50% above the world market price. The scheme has been running for three years and led the reserves to record highs. They reached last year some 17.8 million tonnes, equivalent to 40% of world trade. The new leader of Thailand has put on the market a million tons of rice to deflate state stocks.
Criticism against the junta
Although she tries to revive the economy and reassure investors, the junta is far from unanimous. Criticism is growing, many Thais accusing him of maintaining martial law since May. It banned political rallies and criticism of the coup. Sign of the tensions, two homemade bombs exploded a few days ago in Bangkok, causing no serious injuries. They are not unlike those that have marked the lives of Thais during the months of protests that led to the ouster of Shinawatra government and the arrival of the junta. These incidents immediately led to a strengthening of security in public places. “We will strengthen security around the country. We need high security control in certain areas, “immediately said the Deputy Prime Minister. While careful to appoint a culprit, authorities have assured that the explosions had no other purpose than to create trouble.

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Thailand is trying to sell its huge rice stocks

One million tonnes. Thailand yesterday gave the kickoff to the biggest sale of rice auction since 2004. It is the first of the ten transactions contemplated by the government this year. The idea is to bring to market 10 million tonnes in total by December, still 7.8 million next year.
The world’s largest exporter will attempt to sell huge national reserves accumulated over the past few years, now graze the 18 million tonnes … a level equivalent to almost 40% of world exports.stock of rice in Thailand
The previous government, ousted by the junta in May 2014, was set up in 2011 a subsidy policy to support Thai rice farmers, which he bought their production up to 50% above the market price. But this program has had the perverse effect of driving up export prices, slowing the international sales (costing the country in passing its leadership for two years), and the national rice reserves were piled up.
Nearly a hundred of bidders qualified to participate in this first sale in 2015, said the Ministry of Foreign Trade, speaking of a “high demand”. Four smaller auctions were conducted in 2014, they have enabled Thailand to dispose of nearly 700,000 tons. But they kept the pressure on the price of Thai rice, which declined by 28% since early 2013, and industry experts expect the decline to continue this year. “Official sales continuously on an already well-stocked market will bring lower prices in 2015,” said Hamish Smith at Capital Economics.
Deteriorated stocks
Expectations are similar to the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO. “The sale will irrevocably depress the market,” adds David Dawe and quoted by Bloomberg. “Thailand is not the only country to have the stock on wants to get rid. The world in general has a very high level of stocks, “says FAO economist.thai rice
The major rice importers them either are not missing. In the two largest, China and Nigeria, the current stock status is good, according to FAO. Thailand says she will try to disrupt the market as little as possible.
But soon she will have to sell because the quality of the stored rice deteriorates. The junta has conducted an audit after taking power revealed that 90% of the reserves were damaged, and 20% were now unfit for human consumption.
With these tons of rice dumped on the domestic market, Thailand is expected to export much more than in 2014, according to the US Department of Agriculture. What bolster his return to World in the standings.

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Record nominations to the Board of Investment of Thailand

More than 2,000 investment projects worth 1.4 trillion baht was deposited to benefit from the Board of Investment promotional privileges for the month of December 2014, said Ms. Hirunya Sujinai, Secretary General of BOI.
For all of last year, 3,469 investment projects worth 2.1 trillion baht were the subject of an application to the BoI, which is the highest amount in terms of investment value for 50 years.
The number of projects and their value for 2014 represent an increase of 73% and 117% respectively compared to 2013.
Ms. Hirunya attributed the high number of projects to the willingness of investors to invest in Thailand. Apparently foreign investors were not unduly worried by the coup of May 22, and the prolonged absence of democratic elections.
Since the beginning of this year, the new BOI’s investment policy is in force. The new policy no longer encourages activities that have little added value, require intensive work, or involving little technology and / or simple production process. But she promotes new and interesting activities.

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Thailand is not out of the woods

Restarting in Thailand? This is what promises power from the military coup of May 22, 2014 with a growth of at least 4% for 2015. The World Bank is less optimistic. On January 14, it reduced its previous forecast of 3.6% to only 3%. On 2014, the economy will have grown to the best of + 0.5% or stagnated under the effect of a fall in domestic consumption and tourism and a sluggish exports, the main driver of the economy accounting for 60% of GDP. The automotive sector (Thailand is the first Asian Southeast car maker) has notably collapsed by 25%, the only indoor market plunged 40%. In November, the total industrial production of the kingdom fell for the twentieth consecutive month (- 3.5%).
Production capacity of this beloved country of foreign investors are employed only 60%. In short, if the “order” has returned, the economy is still paying a heavy price for the years 2013 and especially 2014 disturbances This period was marked by the confrontation between Yellow Shirts, ultra-royalists from urban elites and Red Shirts . Representing primarily rural northern populations, the “Reds” argued the former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra deposed a few days before the coup, including the establishment of a disastrous rice subsidy system. Since the arrival of the commander in chief of the army Prayut Chan-o-cha as prime minister, power promises the return to constitutional order after the adoption of a new constitution. This is being discussed and one of its challenges is banishment from public life of Yingluck Shinawatra. In short, nothing is settled.
Alongside this institutional issue, and while powerful techno continues to manage the country, the government “transitional” tries to revive the economy. In this country of 67 million, posting 334.5 billion euros of GDP, it has taken stimulus estimated at 8.64 billion euros: investment in infrastructure, administrative simplifications and further support to … rice, leaving skeptical observers. Treated with circumspection by much of the international community, the executive also seeks new friends. And turns to China. While traditional support of Thailand are Japan and the United States, Prayut Chan-o-cha began a pas de deux with Beijing. The reciprocal visits of senior leaders multiply. Both countries sealed in December, an agreement in principle for a high-speed train, the project repeatedly adjourned. China became the largest trading partner of Bangkok promises to double rice or rubber purchases. Was the support that can be.

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