Thailand tops list for Chinese tourists during Golden Week
CTrip, China’s premier booking site, reported that Thailand was the top destination for Chinese travelers during the recent Golden Week holiday from October 1 to October 7. The country is the third most popular destination over all but jumped to the top during Golden Week with rising popularity from independent travelers. Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai were the top destinations in Thailand. According to Chinese analysts third and fourth tier cities in China will see significant outbound tourism and the number of travelers from six smaller Chinese cities more than tripled during this year's Golden Week holiday. Chinese tourists showed interest in more than just shopping, bookings to museums online doubled from the previous year according to Ctrip. Overall, tourism in Thailand is expected to rise 3 percent year on year in the fourth quarter with an increase in Russian visitors and rising numbers of Chinese returning to the country. In total, 37.99 million visitors are expected for 2018, up 6.7 percent from 2017. Earnings from tourism are expected to grow by 9.2 percent to 2 trillion baht.
Condo prices in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, and Samut Prakan grew in the third quarter, showing an 11 percent year on year jump and 2.8 percent growth from the previous quarter based on the expansion of electric train lines. Bangkok prices grew 11.7 percent, while prices in Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan grew 8 percent while along certain lines prices soared. Along the Airport Rail Link prices grew 35.7 percent year on year, Pathumwan 34.9 percent, Bang Sue and Dusit districts prices grew 33.5 percent, and Huay Khwang, Chatuchak, and Din Daeng districts prices jumped 30.8 percent year on year. Prices along Sukhumvit also grew, but more slowly, with Khlong Toey and Wathana districts seeing a 16.7 percent year on year rise. Prices of new houses also grew in Bangkok, 4.1 percent year on year and 5 percent in Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, and Pathum Thani. The city hopes to increase density with new zoning laws that will take effect next year, with high density zoning laws to be applied along the Orange line from the Thailand Cultural Centre to Bang Kapi and Min Buri and Northern Bangkok to also see drastic changes in density zoning along the new lines from Mor Chit-Saphan Mai-Khu Khot, the Yellow Line (Lat Phrao-Samrong), the Brown Line (Khae Rai-Lam Salee) and the Pink Line (Khae Rai-Min Buri).
The Board of Investment (BOI) reported that the total value of investment promotion applications submitted to the BOI in the first half of 2018 was more than 285 billion baht; close to that of the previous year. The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) topped the list with investments valued at 180 billion baht, or 64 percent of the total investment promotion applications. The BOI has set this year's investment promotion application target at 720 billion baht and has issued various measures to attract more investors, such as offering privileges to projects in the EEC and organizing productivity improvement projects.