Over 400,000 visitors turned up at the 15th Discovery Thailand & Discovery World 2009 fair and spent about Bt400 million, which is above the organiser’s targets.
With its competitive pricing and attractive destinations, Thailand is being promoted as a MICE destination. According to Ashley Monterio, managing director, Pathfinders Travel, as global recession plays out, Thailand is fast becoming the country of choice for many corporates. Attractions like the Siam Niramit with its 2000 seater auditorium, conference facilities and recreational options and the numerous hotels on offer make Thailand an attractive MICE proposition.
Thailand is also being sold as a potential wedding destination. As Jai Raj Gupta, CEO, Shaadionline, which is into wedding planning and designing, puts it, despite the current global economic scenario, weddings remain recession proof. Lavish weddings in international destinations are still the order of the day for many among the richer sections of the society. Its proximity to India, relatively lower travel and accommodation rates and similar cultural background hence makes Thailand a favourite venue among international destinations for Indian weddings.
With a target of approximately 16 million international arrivals that is expected to generate tourism revenue of US $18 billion for the year 2009, and India being a major source market, TAT has plans of undertaking various marketing and public relations exercises in the country this year. Apart from such workshops, these would include reaching out to the travel trade in the Tier II and Tier III cities and promoting the destination as a potential location for Bollywood movies.
Recovery in tourism in sight
More about Thailand business
The approved Financial Institution Business Act (FIBA) facilitates increase in foreign ownership in Thai foreign institutions. The Financial Institution Business Act (FIBA) became effective on 3 August 2008 as planned. The FIBA allows financial institutions to raise the foreign limit from 25 percent to 49 percent with permission from the BOT and foreign investors may own more than 49 percent equity stake in Thai banks with permission from the Ministry of Finance and recommendation by the BOT. The increase in foreign limit would encourage Thai banks to seek foreign strategic partners to strengthen the capital base, improve core banking business, IT platform, know-how and add inorganic growth to Thai banks.
Infrastructure services, if quickly improved, could promote a better investment climate in Thailand
Imports from new ASEAN member countries also have lower import duties. As part of ASEAN Integration System of Preferences (AISP), tariffs of products such as vinegar, chili, certain vegetables, wood products, and electronic switchboards imported from Cambodia, Myanmar and Lao PDR are either reduced or abolished from September 2008.
For the year 2008, the Thai economy decelerated from the previous year, particularly in the last quarter where global economic downturn and internal political unrest adversely affected manufacturing production and tourism. Nonetheless, farm income in Thailand still expanded well from higher major crop production and price compared to the previous year. On the demand side, private consumption and investment declined notably in the last quarter, despite falling inflation during the second half of the year in line with lower oil prices. Both export and import expanded satisfactorily during the first three quarters. However, during the last quarter, export contracted following trading partners’ economic slowdown while import decelerated markedly in line with export and domestic demand conditions.
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