International tourist arrivals hit 19.48 million in first six months of 2018

Thailand’s international tourist arrivals hit 19.48 million for the first six months of the year, a 12 percent year on year rise. Chinese visitors topped the list at 6 million, last year 9.8 million arrived during the year, ASEAN countries followed in number of arrivals. Tourism revenues hit one trillion baht for the first six months and officials believe tourism is on target to reach the predicted 37 million arrivals and two trillion baht in revenues.

The spa industry is a fast-growing market with the overall market value growing 8 percent a year, with the main consumers being international tourists, East Asians make up a large share of that market followed by Europeans. A recent survey of international spas found that hotel spas not only increase the hotel’s revenue per room but also provides more activity options for tourists. Hotel spas with unique experiences for guests can also improve the hotel’s selling points. The survey found that urban hotels with a spa had a 27 percent higher revenue per available room than hotels without spas and 10 percent more for resorts.

Thai Air-Asia is launching a new direct Chiang Mai – Taipei route on September 30, the low-cost carrier will operate four flights a week on the route as it sees the route as having high potential. About 570,000 Taiwanese visited Thailand last year, a ten percent rise from the previous year. Eva Air launched daily direct flights earlier this month from Taipei to Chiang Mai. Thai Air hit the top ten best airlines in the world in the most recent Skytrax Survey, Singapore Airlines came in first, followed by Qatar Airways although Asian airlines dominated the list with Emirates coming in fourth and Lufthansa the only European airline to make the list, no US airlines made the list. Other Asian airlines included All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, and Garuda Indonesia. Bangkok Air came in 21st and AirAsia at 28. Skytrax surveys more than 20 million fliers a year.

Land prices in Greater Bangkok jumped in the first six months of the year, a 32.3 percent rise from the same period last year. The Real Estate Information Center (REIC) reported the top five locations where prices of undeveloped land rose the most in the second quarter compared with the same period last year; Phra Khanong-Bang Na-Suan Luang-Prawet area which saw a 53 percent jump, Nakhon Pathom where prices rose 39.1 percent, Ratburana-Bang Khun Tien-Thung Khru-Bang Bon-Jom Thon with a 38.2 percent rise, Samut Sakhon with a 27.4 percent increase and inner Bangkok where prices rose 20.1 percent. Land near proposed future mass transit lines saw prices rise 52.1 percent higher than those near where no lines are planned. Land prices along the Sukhumvit line grew 26.8 percent while land near the Orange Line from Thailand Cultural Center to Min Buri were 23.5%, and up 21.4 percent along the Dark Red Line from Hua Lamphong to Maha Chai while land prices on the Blue Line route of Bang Sue-Tha Phra-Hua Lamphong-Bang Kae rose 21.3 percent and on the Silom line 21.2 percent.

Work Permit

Any foreigner working in Thailand must obtain a Work Permit before beginning work. While a prospective employer may file an application on the foreigner’s behalf in advance of his starting work, the actual Work Permit will not be issued until the foreigner has entered Thailand in accordance with the immigration laws and has presented himself to receive his Work Permit.

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