The first half of the year has seen 16.4 million overseas visitors, a 12.62% rise from last year according to the Ministry of Tourism. Foreign arrivals spent 867.46 million baht, 16.11% increase from last year with the top three nationalities visiting being Chinese, Malaysian and Indian.
Future Plans Announced
Foreigners are presently unable to invest freely in fire services without needing a license from the Commerce Ministry due to fire services being listed on the Foreign Businesses Act (List 3). This has recently been discussed at being removed in the future, no time frame has presently been discussed but due to this being discussed in the public domain it is likely some statement of intent will be made in July during the Ministries review. The five services that the Ministry will review in July for removal are accounting, legal services given to subsidiaries, space and facility rental, lending to subsidiaries and consulting services.
The Airports of Thailand board approved a proposal to build a second passenger terminal at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. The plan will now be put to the Transport Ministry, the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board and the cabinet for consideration. The AOT is implementing the 2nd stage of the airport's development project to increase its capacity, currently the airport has the capacity to handle 45 million passengers a year and is looking to boost that to 65 million. The airport is already overcapacity and is expected to handle 65 million passengers a year, the new terminal would reduce overcrowding and allow for the airport to handle 90 million passengers a year, construction is expected to begin in 2019 and finish by 2021.
Digital Ads growth has gone from 16% to 14.3 billion baht for 2018. For 2019 ad growth was 31% and reached 12 billion baht. The top spenders are automobile manufacturers and telecommunication companies closely followed by banks, skin care, cosmetics and non-alcoholic beverages. This has resulted in a decline in print media and television.
According to Ctrip, (Shanghai based travel company) one-fifth of all outbound Chinese travelers (127 million trips in total) visited Thailand in 2017. Ctrip are launching a gourmet food app to recommend Bangkok restaurants to it’s Chinese visitors through a public rating system, believed to be similar to that of TripAdvisor. Already added are over 303 restaurants, among them are nine Ctrip Star restaurants (two two-star and seven one-star), 206 "Ctrip Selected" restaurants and 88 "Ctrip Flavor" restaurants.
Thai Smile airlines are adding new routes in August and October after the ICAO red flag from early 2015 when an audit by the international body raised a number significant safety concerns about the country's oversight of carriers, particularly around its processes around awarding new air operator certificates. The subsidiary of Thai Airways will be flying to Kolkata, India from Bangkok in August, and will take over the existing Thai Airways Phuket – Hong Kong route in October as well as institute new routes from Bangkok to Hong Kong and Hangzhou. The budget airline is also increasing charter flights to Fukuoka in Japan as well as increasing regularly scheduled flights to Chongqing, Changsha, and Guangzhou in China and Bombay in India. The airline will also look to increase domestic flights to Khon Kaen, Chiang Rai, and Udon Thani which is expected to be in late 2019.