Bangkok most visited city in the world
Bangkok is set to remain the world’s most popular destination in 2017 according to the Mastercard 2017 Global Destination Cities Index released last week. The city, which was also first on the list in 2016 saw 19.41 million visitors in August and is forecast to hit 20.19 million in 2017. London came in second again this year with a forecast of 20.01 million, up from last year’s 19.06 million. Paris, Dubai, Singapore, New York City, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo and Istanbul rounded out the top ten. Paris, which came third was far behind Bangkok’s 20 million with 16.13 million forecast for 2017. Dubai topped the ranking in visitor spending, followed by New York, Bangkok was number 5 in visitor spending. According to the report, the number of international overnight arrivals has increased by 55 percent in 132 destinations since 2009.
Thai Lion Air and Thai Smile are starting low cost flights to Taiwan in October, with Thai Smile planning to start their daily flights to Kaohshiung in the south of the island on October 1 and Thai Lion Air starting daily flights to Taipei on October 20, 2017. In 2016 more than half a million Taiwanese visited Thailand and this year has already seen over 384,000. Taiwan granted a visa waiver to Thai nationals, which has seen a boost in Thai tourism to the island. Thai Vietjet is also planning on starting a new route to Chiang Rai and Nok Air is adding charter flights to Bangkok from Zunyi and Changsha in China and is contracted to supply roundtrip charters to U-tapao Airport from Yinchuan, Baotou, Linyi, Yichang, Nanchang, and Haikao,
Thailand has climbed two places in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index due to strong improvement on its macroeconomic environment, particularly on infrastructure projects such as rail, port and air transport. Thailand came in 32nd out of 137 countries but jumped to 9th place in macroeconomic environment. The Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) is prepared on the basis of country-level data covering 12 categories or pillars of competitiveness; institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labor market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation are the 12 pillars.
The Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy committee raised the GDP forecast from 3.5 percent to 3.8 percent on the back of growth in exports and tourism but kept the policy rate unchanged. The BOT also pushed up the GDP forecast for 2018 from 3.7 percent to 3.8 percent. The committee raised its forecast for export growth to 8 percent this year but weaker in 2018 due to a slowdown in global trade. The committee raised the forecast for tourist arrivals to 35.6 million this year, up from the earlier 34.9 prediction but maintained the forecast for 2018 at 37.3 million. The National Economic and Social Development Board reported that Thailand's GDP rose by 3.7% year-on-year in the period from April-June after expanding 3.3% in the first quarter.