The Thai tourism industry will be a major beneficiary of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as the Royal Thai Government moves rapidly to take advantage of the increased investment and trade opportunities it will create, not just within Thailand but across the ASEAN and ACMECS regions.
Addressing the Thailand-China Business Forum 2018 on 24 August, Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak said that the kingdom’s strategic location at the heart of ASEAN, its long-standing trade and economic cooperation with China and many other regional countries, as well as its growing multi-modal transport linkages are all great competitive advantages which present enormous opportunities to Chinese investors.
He said the Thai government has developed a number of infrastructure projects and special initiatives; such as, the Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation (EECi), to serve as an incubator hub for startups and human resource development in targeted industries including digital and software development, high value-added products from natural rubber, electric vehicles and automotive parts, machinery and parts, automation and robotics, telecommunication products and parts, biotechnology, electronics and parts, and the manufacture and repair of aerospace technologies.
Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn said that all this economic activity would give a further boost to Chinese visitor arrivals to Thailand, especially in high-spending sectors; such as, MICE and business travel.
Chinese visitor arrivals to Thailand are already at record-breaking levels. In the first half of 2018, Chinese visitors totalled six million and will cross the 10 million mark.