Domestic and foreign tourism numbers up for Songkran
Foreign tourist arrivals grew 6.2 percent year on year for the Songkran holiday period the Ministry of Tourism and Sports reported last week. Foreign arrivals hit over half a million from 12 – 16 April, while local people took 3.1 million trips, up 12.4 percent year on year. Foreign tourist arrivals generated 24.65 billion baht to the economy, a 16 percent rise from Songkran last year, while local tourists contributed 10.4 billion baht, a 20.5 percent year on year rise. Total tourism income reached 35.1 billion baht, a 12.1 percent rise. For domestic tourists, 1.94 million trips were made to major cities while 1.16 million were made to secondary provinces. The major source of international tourists were South East Asia and China.
New business registrations grew 7 percent year on year in the first quarter to 20,049, according to the Department of Business Development. The top three businesses registered in March were in building construction, property and restaurants. Total new businesses registered during the first quarter had a combined value of 60.83 billion baht in registered capital. The Board of Investment reported that 333 new businesses applied for government incentives totaling 203.63 billion baht during the first quarter. First quarter applications accounted for 28 percent of the BOIs one-year target of 720 billion baht. Most of the applications were in the government’s ten targeted industries including eco-friendly petrochemicals and chemicals, agriculture, biotechnology, tourism, automotive, auto parts and processed food products.
Alibaba signed a Memorandum of understanding with the Thai government and intends on investing 11 billion baht in the Eastern Economic Corridor as mainland Chinese firms eye Thailand for investment. Alibaba will set up its facility and use its technology to process logistics data, with the plan to serve shipments between Thailand and China, as well as border trade with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Alibaba is also signing agreements on distributing Thai rice and durians through its channels and will be working with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to run tourism marketing programs through its online portal. Alibaba will also be establishing R & D services which the EEC expects will link up with the government’s Digital Park. According to a report from JLL, a real estate consulting firm, Bangkok is the 10th most popular destination for mainland firms expanding overseas and came in third in terms of volume of corporate leasing in the past three years.