New business registrations up 5 percent in May
The Department of Business Development reported a 5 percent year on year increase in new business registrations in the first five months of 2018 reaching around 31,000 new registrations. May saw a one percent increase with 5,865 businesses registering with a combined value of 21.09 billion baht. The top three businesses reflected the economic expansion triggered by exports, tourism, government spending on basic infrastructure; construction, real estate, and restaurants. The DBD reported that 1,014 businesses deregistered in May, a 6 percent drop from the same period last year. The DBD expects new business registrations to top 80,000 this year.
AirAsia has added two new international routes from Thailand; direct flights out of Don Mueang to Kota Kinabalu on the island of Borneo in Malaysia will begin August 16 while a direct flight from Chiang Mai to Yangon will also begin in August. The flights will depart for Kota Kinabalu three times a week and return the same day on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The Chiang Mai – Yangon flight will also fly Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Two Chinese airlines will begin flying to U-tapao International Airport; Donghai Airlines started a scheduled service from Wanzhou at the end of May, and Kunming Airlines will launch a service from Kunming in July. Donghai will fly Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday while the Kunming flights will run Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Kunming Airline already has a direct flight out of Kunming to Hat Yai.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand is looking to boost the wedding and honeymoon tourism sector this year with a goal to push Thailand into the top 5 wedding and honeymoon destinations. In 2016 1.1 million people came to Thailand for weddings and honeymoons generating an estimated 60 billion baht, of that 104,000 came for weddings. Visitors from Asia ranked the highest followed by Europe and the Middle East, the TAT hopes to see a 5 percent growth in the wedding and honeymoon tourist segment this year after hosting the Wedding Planner Congress for the first time in Asia. The TAT will join the Congress again this year in a bid to market Thailand as a romance destination and will promote Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi, Chiang Mai and Pattaya as wedding and honeymoon destinations. Last year Thailand won Best Wedding Destination from the Indian magazine Wanderlust and was one of the top 20 romantic destinations for Brides magazine.
Krabi Airport has opened bids for a new parking area valued at 1.2 billion baht to accommodate the growth in flights. The airport has seen passengers grow from four million to eight million and the airport is expected to increase flights from 14 a day to 40 a day. The government is also proposing new ferry routes connecting Krabi, Phuket, and Phang Nga. Six routes are being proposed while the main route would connect Phuket and Krabi airports, carry 300 people and take one hour. Car ferries are also being proposed to connect popular Koh Lanta with Phuket, Krabi, and Phuket as well as a car ferry to connect Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi. Other routes being proposed would connect Phang Nga to neighboring islands, and a new passenger only ferry to Koh Lanta from Phuket.