Thailand and Japan have swapped their top positions as the countries Chinese travellers felt comfortable visiting in the latest survey by Hotels.com.
The survey released on also showed Thailand had dropped in the top 10 destinations visited by the Chinese in the last 12 months.
The survey conducted by Hotels.com showed that the new generation of Chinese travellers’ needs and preferences have changed.
Tour groups have grown to be outdated as Chinese travellers are growing to enjoy independent travel in Thailand.
They are more likely to travel on a free-and-easy basis, thanks to Thailand’s local delicacies, ease of visa application, quality of accommodation, and shopping paradise that greatly attracted Chinese travelers.
The kingdom was second behind Japan when the Chinese were asked about countries they felt most welcomed this year.
Last year, Thailand topped the category, with Japan coming second. “Widespread acceptance of Chinese mobile wallets, sufficient translations/signage and ease of information” were the factors that kept Thailand in the second place, the booking website said.
Chinese millennials born after 1990 are pushing the boundaries of international travel, increasing their travel expenditure in the past year by a staggering 80 per cent to fund social media-influenced trips full of edgy experiences, high tech accommodation, exotic delicacies and taboo ticket-items.
Keen to get down with authentic experiences, Chinese travelers are putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to spending choice – tasting exotic local delicacies (69 per cent) and scouring the streets for authentic local items (43 per cent) over shopping for luxury items (38 per cent).
Thailand was down five notches from the third rank in 2017 this year on the destinations Chinese visited in the past 12 months, according to the survey, which showed Japan underlined its position as their top destination during the period, sending Hong Kong from the first to second place.
Tourists from China topped foreigners visiting Thailand with 6 million arrivals to Thailand in the first half of this year. The ministry was confident that the target for 11 million Chinese would be within reach this year, despite the tragic accident at sea in Phuket when 47 tourists from China lost their lifes returning from a diving trip in rough seas and bad weather in the Andaman Sea.
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Hino To establish a development and production base in Thailand
Once the factory begins operation in 2021, Hino will first start off by producing vehicles for the domestic Thai market
Japanese motor Company to push forward with locally led manufacturing of best-fit products to quickly respond to customer needs in close proximity
Under this new setup, Hino will be constructing a new center in Bang Bo, Samutprakarn Province to consolidate and strengthen our product planning, development, and production functions for best-fit products in ASEAN.
The site has an area of roughly 400,000 sqm. Construction is scheduled to begin in July 2019 with operations to begin in 2021.
The new center will consist of the new plant’s production area, and a development area centered around a test track. The total investment amount is expected to be roughly 11.5 billion yen.
Operations to begin in 2021
Once the factory begins operation in 2021, we will first start off by producing vehicles for the domestic Thai market, and expect to begin supplying ASEAN best-fit vehicles to other emerging markets by roughly 2024.
Hino Motors, Ltd. (HQ: Hino City, Tokyo, President & CEO: Yoshio Shimo; hereafter “Hino,”) and Hino Motors Manufacturing Thailand, Ltd. (HQ: Samrong, Samutprakarn Province, President: Somchai Pleankaew; hereafter “HMMT”), our manufacturing company in Thailand, in order to achieve our vision of “Corporate strategy 2025” and enable us to respond to customer needs in close proximity, will be taking steps in Thailand, one of our key centers of operation, to accelerate our efforts to strengthen our business foundation in ASEAN.
By newly appointed Mr. Somchai Pleankaew, who has an exceptional career background with Hino, to president of HMMT, we will be creating an organizational setup that will enable us to drive our business in a locally led manner.
Mr. Somchai Pleankaew, who assumed the office of president of HMMT as of Feb 1 has this to say:
HMMT will put all of our effort to make this project successful in order to enable the growth of our company. Our aim is to serve all customers to their greatest satisfaction by providing the best-fit products and total support customized for each vehicle.
In addition, as a center of Monozukuri, including product planning, development, and production, as well as Total Support in ASEAN, Hino Thailand will collaborate and go forward with Hino in ASEAN in order to grow and strengthen together to support the growth of our customers’ businesses in the ASEAN region.
The Hino Group will be reforming its business structure to achieve sustainable growth leading up to 2025. We position Thailand as one of our key markets for sales in the ASEAN region, our second pillar after the Japanese market. The country is also one of our key business centers and a driver of Monozukuri and Total Support within the region.
The new center to be constructed will consolidate and strengthen our product planning, development, and production functions in Thailand.
New center overview
|Name||Suvarnabhumi Monozukuri Center|
|Location||Bang Bo, Samutprakarn Province|
|Site area||400,000 sqm|
|Functions||Product planning, development, and production of Hino vehicles|
|Products produced||Light- and medium-duty trucks and buses|
|Operation startup date||Scheduled for 2021|
|Employees||Approx. 1,300 (at the time of operation startup)|
As a “Monozukuri Center” it will be designed with the capability to commercialize and supply ASEAN best-fit products locally and consistently. In addition to increased coordination between different functions, we will be taking steps in product development to push forward with localization of product development by upgrading organizational setups and constructing a new test track so that we will be able to respond to customer needs quickly and accurately at close customer proximity. In the area of production, the production functions that are currently distributed across existing plants in Thailand will be consolidated at the new center to improve production efficiency.
Furthermore, know-how from the Koga Plant―our global mother plant―will be actively incorporated into the plant to create a system that will enable us to deliver competitive products to our customers in a timely fashion.
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