Bangkok number one city in Mastercard Global Cities Index for overnight visitors
Bangkok was ranked number one destination for overnight visitors in the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index and GDCI: Play Index, an index of the top leisure destinations last year. The Mastercard GDCI 2018 ranks 162 destination cities in terms of total international overnight visitors and the amount spent by visitors throughout the previous year. The Index looks at the amount spent within destination cities on dining and shopping. Bangkok came in third in money spent on food and beverage with US$3.38 billion, or 20.6 percent of visitors’ budgets. The city came in sixth in shopping with visitors spending 26 percent of their budget or US$3.75 billion. Phuket came in 12th and Pattaya came in at 18 out of the top 20. Thailand was the only country that had three cities in the top 20. This was Bangkok’s third year in a row at number one as the destination for overnight visitors.
Four cryptocurrency businesses were issued digital-asset business licenses, two others were rejected and a seventh remains under consideration. Businesses dealing in digital assets are regulated under the new law; the Emergency Decree on Digital Asset Businesses BE 2561 (2018). The two companies that did not receive licenses had inconsistent custody of client assets, and insufficient cyber-security. If the companies can meet the requirements in the future they can reapply for licenses. The decree regulates cryptocurrencies and digital tokens in Thailand. Regulated activities include offering of Digital Tokens to the public and operation of Digital Asset Businesses. The issuer must obtain prior approval from the Office of the SEC before offering its Digital Tokens to the public and must file a registration statement and draft prospectus to the Office of the Securities Exchange Commission. The offering can only be done once the license is issued and must be done through an SEC approved ICO Portal to investors.
The Board of Investment announced that investment applications jumped 43 percent year on year, reaching 902 billion baht in value. Thai and foreign firms submitted a total of 1,626 projects last year, up 3 percent from 2017 with applications in the new S-curve industries including digital, medical, petrochemical, robotics and space totaling 539 billion baht. The BoI has set a goal of 750 billion baht in value for 2019. The government plans a roadshow to Japan later this month to promote investment in 12 targeted industries; cars, smart electronics, medical and wellness tourism, agriculture and biotechnology, food. robotics for industry. logistics and aviation, biofuels and biochemicals, digital, medical services, defense, and education development.