Tourist arrivals up in July
Tourist arrivals rose 4.72 percent to 3.33 million tourists in July from a year earlier, after rising 0.89 percent in June. Revenues from tourism rose 3.11 percent to 167.3 billion baht. Chinese visitors rose 5.81 percent year on year. The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) predicts Thailand will see 37.8 million MICE travelers (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) in 2020, generating 232 billion baht in revenues. Foreign MICE visitors are expected to bring in 105 billion baht and 36.4 million domestic travelers are estimated to generate 127 billion baht. Last year a total 594,663 foreign MICE travelers visited Thailand in fiscal 2019's first half, contributing 44 billion baht. That number is expected to reach 1.24 million visitors with projected revenue of 101 billion baht by the end of the fiscal year.
The Department of Business Development approved 13 foreign firms to expand their investment in Thailand in August, with an investment value of 5.21 billion baht with companies from Japan, Singapore, Sweden, the Netherlands, South Korea, Hong Kong and China. Companies include service, accounting, research, engineering and online businesses. In the first 8 months of the year the department has approved 137 foreign firms with an investment value of 21.17 billion baht. While that is a 23 percent drop in the number of firms from the same period of last year it is an 148 percent increase in investment value.
The Customs Department is streamlining the process to allow recipients of parcels sent from overseas through the postal service to pay tax online and receive their packages without having to visit the Customs Office. This will make it more convenient for individuals and businesses receive packages. The Department will also extend it’s Pre-Arrival Processing (PAP) service, which transmits customs declarations and import documents to customs authorities electronically before the goods arrive in the destination country for cross-border land transport. The department has also added more options for importers to pay, adding the Government Savings Bank, Bank of Ayudhya and Big C Supercenter to offer online tax payment. Importers can already pay at Krungthai Bank, Kasikorn Bank, Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank and Counter Service Co by paying via QR code, barcode or a reference number.