BKK Weather 33C; Sunny, cloudy, rain; Euro:US 1.2940, Euro:Baht 39.73, SET Index: 1295
Admin Court to consider anti-3G petitions today; could delay auction again. Government claims big rice sales, says details are secret.
Biden-Ryan debate at 8:00 am. Turkey forces down Syria-bound plane with “illegal ammunition.” Malaysia court bans transsexuals from dressing as women.
– PBTA PATTAYA: Besides more CCTVs on Walking Street, Pattaya should pave more roads and clean up the city to attract more tourists, said participants at a meeting of the Pattaya Businessmen and Tourism Association. They expect Pattaya tourism to increase from 5 to 10 million visitors within 10 years.
The monthly board meeting of the Pattaya Businessmen and Tourism Association was held at the Green Park Resort Hotel. PBTA President Mr. Wiwat Pattanasin welcomed members and representatives of agencies from government and private organizations.
Participants agreed on four areas of immediate priority that should be addressed. The four priorities are: paving over any dirt roads, as well as continual repaving and maintenance of existing roads; keeping the environment clean, which includes proper sanitation and trash elimination; carrying out the government’s policy of 15 years of free education; and effective management of water resources to address both the water supply and the problems of flooding.
– THAILAND’S BRIGHT FUTURE: Bert Hofman, the World Bank’s Chief Economist for East Asia and the Pacific, forecast a cut in growth for the Pacific-Rim earlier this week, prompting a sell-off in the region’s equities.
Prognosticating that the slowdown in China could get worse and last longer, he cut his 2012 growth outlook for the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to 7.7 percent from 8.2 percent.
The World Bank has also downgraded its forecast for India, slashing predicted GDP growth for 2012 from 6.9 percent to 6 percent, due to infrastructure bottlenecks and the still slow (but improving) pace of economic reform. The organization also said that it expected inflation in the country to pop up to 8 percent by early next year. The International Monetary Fund is even less bullish on India, forecasting 2012 GDP growth of just 4.9 percent.
However, one small Southeast Asian country has largely escaped the negative assessments of supranational financial bodies: Thailand.
It has maintained its expectation that Thai GDP growth would come in at around 6.1 percent for the year.
Thailand has been lucky. It doesn’t have much in the way of direct financial ties to Europe, unlike countries such as Malaysia or even Australia. Europe also is a major destination for Thai exports, which are relatively few to begin with, since the nation’s economy depends primarily on its services sector for growth.
Tourism, the primary source of income in the country, has remained robust, with arrivals up 8.7 percent this year.
Domestic consumption has also shown resilience; auto sales have shot up by 49 percent so far this year while bank lending is up by 8 percent.
Foreign direct investment in the country has also remained extremely robust, jumping 120 percent in August to THB592 billion. Much of that investment has been focused on the country’s automotive industry, which not only feeds domestic demand but does a booming business in part exports.
The Thai government has committed to an ambitious infrastructure development program that’s slated to reach THB2.3 trillion over the next decade including flood control.
A global shortage of computer chips occurred last year after massive floods hit Thailand’s central region. Interestingly, none of those manufacturers chose to relocate in the wake of that disaster, thanks to Thailand’s relatively low wages, educated workforce, and extremely favorable corporate tax scheme.
– MATIV MOSCOW: The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s pavilion was a big hit at the Moscow Autumn Travel Industry Week, or MATIW-Leisure 2012, one of the world’s biggest leisure trade fairs. The TAT pavilion occupied 274 square meters, at a cost of Bt10 million plus decoration, to show off various tourism products and services from the Land of Smiles.
The highlights of the event were spa/massage and medical services. The exhibitors in traditional Thai dress were busy welcoming guests for a trial massage. Umbrella painting was also on show to add color to the Thai atmosphere.
Throughout the day, Thai-boxing shows were held to demonstrate Thai martial arts as a magnet for visitors. Without a doubt, the Thai pavilion was one of the most interesting ones at the mart, proved by the long line of people wanting tourism information and to try out the spa and massage service.
“Look at the event: our nation differentiates itself from other nations selling cultural and natural products. We have spa and medical services as today’s popular trend,” said Tanes Petsuwan, TAT’s Director for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
This was the scene at MATIW, held from September 19-22. Interestingly, the Thai pavilion was surrounded by those of Asean rivals such as the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Participation in their events made it clear that the Russian market is very promising, with more and more travelers paving the way for business opportunities as Asean countries strive to get a slice of this lucrative cake.
– PHUKET: A Quebec coroner is challenging the autopsy findings of Thai officials that ruled two Canadian sisters found dead in their Phi Phi hotel room in June were accidentally poisoned. Coroner Renee Roussel told Radio-Canada the concentration of the chemical DEET in the sisters’ systems wasn’t enough to be fatal.
– BANGKOK SLOWS: Average speeds in Bangkok dropped from 19 kilometers per hour (kph) last year to 18 kph this year during morning rush hour and from 24 kph to 23 kph during evening rush hour, the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning said
– ASIA PACIFIC HOTEL INVESTORS: The hotel industry’s gigantic growth in Asia has been tempered somewhat in recent months, but industry leaders participating in the opening session during the 23rd annual Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific in Hong Kong are no less bullish about the region than they have been during the past five years.
Chris Nassetta, President and CEO of Hilton Worldwide, called the Asia/Pacific region the no. 1 hotel growth market and said his company isn’t changing its strategy for the region because of a slowing global economy.
“There are going to be circumstances around the region that from time to time will have a little more supply and we will feel the effects of that … This region of the world will have a very tough time keeping up with the demand. There’s massive economic growth that’s going to drive demand for travel and tourism,” he said.
Richard Solomons, CEO for InterContinental Hotels Group, said that global hotel companies such as his London-based business, are in it for the long haul.
“This is a long-term business. You don’t build a hotel for tomorrow, you build it for 20, 30, 40 years from now,” he said, adding there will be winners and losers in terms of cities and hotel brands, but the key is the expected continued growth in consumer demand for hotel rooms, especially among Asia’s booming middle class.”
Jim Abrahamson, CEO of Interstate Hotels & Resorts, agreed but said there are some notable changes taking place through the region.
“This clearly has been a 5-star market, but longer-term demand demographics are going to be shifting toward 4 stars,” he said to the 800 conference attendees, “It’s going to follow the pattern of the rest of the mature markets.”
– KENYA AIRWAYS BKK: Agent interline fam trips for Kenya Safari (6 days, 3 nights) and Tanzania Safari (7 days, 4 nights) are being offered in November, commencing from Bangkok. In Kenya, the fam trip includes the world‐famous Masai Mara National Reserve and optional balloon rides with spectacular views of the Game Reserve.
In Tanzania, the safari fam trip includes the Lake Manyara National Park and an overnight at the Serengeti Sopa Lodge followed by a visit to the Ngorongoro Crater.
– AUSTRALIA: To develop a more profitable tourism industry, Ecotourism Australia Chief Executive Kym Cheatham pushed for more focus on high-value visitors instead of just increasing the number of tourists: ”It is time to reinvent Australian tourism.”
– SKAL THAILAND CALENDAR: Thailand’s five Skal clubs outline their next meetings:
Čtvrtek října 25
Dinner 1830 hours
Středy listopadu 21
Lunch & Aviation Panel
Dusit Thani Bkk
Úterý, listopad 6
Dinner 1830 hours
Renaissance Resort & Spa
Čtvrtek října 25
Dinner 1800 hours
Čtvrtek října 18
Dinner 1900 hours
Andara Resort & Villas
Čtvrtek, listopad 15
Dinner 1900 hours
Panwa Beach Resort by Marco Polo