Thailand fourth in tourist spending globally
Thailand stayed in the top ten most popular tourism destinations in 2017 according to a report from the UN World Tourism Organization. While the country slipped one spot to number 10 recording 35.4 million tourists, it ranked fourth in tourism earnings, pulling in US$57.5 billion, the U.S. was first in amount of tourism spending with US$210 billion, followed by Spain at US$68 billion and France at US$60.7 billion. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports predicts Thailand will see 38 million tourists this year, having passed the halfway mark in the first six months of the year.
Thailand’s logistics business is predicted to see continued growth, especially with the rise of e-commerce according to the director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department which is predicted to hit 3 trillion baht in transactions this year. The logistics segment has seen 10-20 percent growth over the last several years in large part due to the rise in e-commerce with 2.8 trillion baht in transactions in 2017, a rise of 9.86% from a year before. The business-to-business (B2B) segment grew 8.63 percent to.67 trillion baht, and business-to-consumer (B2C) jumped 15.5 percent to 812 billion baht. On average Thais spend 3.41 more hours online than last year with those under the age of 37 spending over 10 hours a day online.
Thailand’s labor market remains tight as unemployment dropped to 1.1 percent in the second quarter compared to 1.2 percent for the same period last year. The workforce totaled 38.48 million in the second quarter, up 0.6% from 38.26 million in the same quarter last year. For 2017, the unemployment rate was 1.2 percent with an overall workforce of 38.1 million. Employment in the hotels and restaurants sector, in particular, rose by 5.7% in line with the continued growth in foreign tourist numbers, while unemployment among holders of bachelor’s degrees, particularly in the social sciences, remained high at 29.3 percent of the total amount of unemployed. The GDP grew 4.6 percent year on year in the second quarter while exports jumped 12.3 percent from the same period last year.