New Immigration auto-gate entry for Singaporeans at Suvarnabhumi
The World Bank is predicting the Thai economy will grow 3.5 percent this year, up from the 3.2 percent forecast in April in large part due to strength in the growth in the export sector, rising farm income and fiscal stimulus measures from the government. Thailand’s GDP grew 3.7 percent year on year after expanding 3.3 percent in the first quarter. The National Economic and Social Development Board expects exports to rise 5.7 percent this year, up from the 3.6 percent growth projected in May. The Asian Development Bank released its report on 45 Asian countries saying forecasting Thailand's gross domestic product (GDP) will grow 4.2 percent per year in the next five years due to improving economic indicators across the board and the country's mobilization of infrastructure projects.
Airbnb, the online service that allows property owners to rent out directly to others for short –term visits is seeking legal support from the Thai government to allow property owners to use the service legally. The co-founder of the company met with the Tourism and Sports Minister to discuss ways in which Airbnb can help boost tourism to Thailand and to ensure the legality of the process. There are around 55,000 Airbnb listings in Thailand and in 2016 the country saw 982,000 foreign travelers use Airbnb for their stays in Thailand, a 150% jump from the year before. Currently the home sharing service is illegal in Thailand as it is considered as operating a hotel without a license but the Chief Strategy Officer for the company is upbeat saying he has been talking with over 191 authorities around the world, at both a national and local level, in ways to make the service legal.
A new auto-gate has been opened for Singaporean nationals at Suvarnabhumi International Airport allowing citizens of that country to enter through the automatic passport screening system in a bid to reduce congestion at Immigration counters, the trial run is being held at Suvarnabhumi but will be extended to other AOT owned airports including Don Mueang International Airport, Phuket and U-Tapao. The gates record data of arriving passengers, as well as photographs and fingerprints the passengers to be used to verify their identities in future trips. It is also linked to the advance passenger processing system (APPS) of airlines. Other countries will also be allowed to apply for the service and will be considered on a country-by-country basis, with priority given to countries with high tourism potential and a large number of travelers to Thailand. The auto gate will be operated on a trial run at the Suvarnabhumi airport. After that the service will be expanded to other international airports in the country such as Don Mueang, Phuket and U-tapao.