Development of U-Tapao into third Greater Bangkok gateway airport pushes airlift to 26 international destinations
China’s massive outward bound economic expansion is now experiencing a massive impact on Thailand’s enormous infrastructure initiative, the EEC (Eastern Economic Corridor). A clear example of this is in the country’s Rayong province, which last year hosted 7 million visitors.
According to consulting group C9 Hotelworks newly released Rayong Hotel Market Update accommodation supply presently stands just under 15,000 rooms but with widespread interest spurred by the government’s EEC initiative, Thai and overseas investors are flocking East. Tourism revenue to the province in 2017 tallied in at just over US$1 billion and is expected to sharply rise on positive market sentiment.
Commenting on Rayong’s upward trajectory C9 Hotelworks Managing Director Bill Barnett said “the expanding footprint of mega-city Bangkok is a key catalyst of change, with the most notable demand generator being the redevelopment of U-Tapao into a third Greater Bangkok gateway airport.
Airlift at U-Tapao is rapidly expanding with scheduled and non-scheduled (charter) flights now serving 26 overseas cities. According to our research, last year aircraft movements surged by 47% year-on-year growth, with much of international lift now coming from Mainland China.”
Looking closely at the EEC investment into large-scale projects, C9’s report notes that the expansion of the industrial zones at Map Ta Put and Laem Chabang and upcoming high-speed railway lines are key elements to a medium and long-term strategy for sustainable growth.
Despite Rayong’s legacy domestic tourism market and secondary attraction as a spillover destination from nearby Pattaya and Jomtien, the visitor source markets are changing. Both the Japanese and Korean segments have registered increased from activity in expansion of the industrial zones and Russians along with Western Europeans are being attracted by the coastal resort areas and offshore islands.
Summing up the market, C9 Hotelworks Bill Barnett comments “the China domino effect from the ‘Belt and Road’ is clearly a game changer for Rayong. Looking back over the past 12-18 months Chinese visitors saw some retraction due to Thailand’s zero-baht tourism crackdown but opening up the skies at U-Tapao is going to propel the province into an entirely new destination proposition.”
To read and download the full report https://www.c9hotelworks.com/downloads/rayong-hotel-market-update-2018-04.pdf