Thailand expects 400,000 Chinese tourists during Chinese New Year
The Board of Investment (BOI) is pushing for further foreign investment, especially in the Eastern Economic Corridor, after exceeding its 600 billion baht target by 22 percent in 2017. The BOI has set its target for investment support in 2018 to 720 billion baht. There was a total of 1,456 projects applying for investment support in 2017, totaling over 641 billion baht. Japan led the field with the highest value of investment at 130 billion baht followed by Singapore at 40 billion baht, and China at 27 billion baht. The BOI will be pushing for more investment in the EEC by attracting foreign investors from countries such as Japan, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, and Europe and hopes to see investment proposals rise 12% from 2017 as the government continues infrastructure investment in special economic zones.
The Deputy Prime Minister believes the Thai economy could see early 5 percent growth in the final quarter of 2017 and predicts the GDP will by 3.6 percent to 4.6 percent in 2018. The National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) reported in November that the third quarter of 2017 saw the highest growth since the first quarter of 2013, after expanding by 3.3 percent in the first quarter and 3.8 percent in the second quarter. The recovering manufacturing sector, export growth, strong tourism numbers, and continued expansion of private sector consumption were the drivers behind the growth. Global economic recovery will contribute to Thailand’s economic growth along with the acceleration of public investment, supported by key investment projects, growth in private investment; and the continued expansion of key production centers.
Chinese travelers to Thailand are expected to hit 400,000 over the Chinese New Year holidays according to the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) and are expected to generate 20 billion baht in revenues. Thailand remains a top destination for Chinese New Year, which starts February 16, and many Chinese are avoiding South Korea due to tensions with North Korea and the United States. Last year a total of 9.8 million Chinese tourists visited Thailand, that number is expected to exceed 10.8 million in 2018. In 2017 Chinese tourists generated 480 billion baht in revenues, up 9 percent in value from the previous year this year that number is expected to rise to 528 billion baht, a 10 percent year on year rise. China accounts for the largest numbers of tourists to Thailand.