Thailand is struggling to handle its tourism boom
(Reuters)Thailand’s success in attracting huge numbers of tourists has put some infrastructure for handling the influx under pressure, an economist with the World Bank said on Monday.
“Bottlenecks are building up in destinations like Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Phuket, while infrastructure still hasn’t expanded,” Kiatipong Ariyapruchya said.
The economist also said that new destinations inside Thailand “must be introduced and monitored closely to support sustainable tourism”.
The industry has remained resilient despite a 2014 coup and a wave of deadly bombings in August this year that killed four Thai tourists and injured dozens, including foreigners.
Last year, Thailand attracted a record 29.9 million visitors. The tourism ministry expects 32.4 million visitors this year while the tourism council says there could be 34.4 million in 2017.
But tourism growth is putting airports and other aspects of infrastructure under strain. Infrastructure is a problem not just for tourism – a rare bright spot for the economy – but for growth in general.
Airport expansion plans
In the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index 2016-2017 , Thailand’s infrastructure ranking was 49th compared with 38th in 2006-2007.
For airport congestion, help is planned. In June, Airports of Thailand Pcl (AOT), the country’s main airport operator, said it intends to spend $5.5 billion over the next 15 years to expand six main airports.
At present, Thailand is in the middle of its tourist high season, as travelers seeking respite from the cold in the Western Hemisphere flock to the country’s beaches and islands.
Sunsanee Fongcharoen, a Bangkok Airways passenger service supervisor at Suvarnabhumi Airport, one of the capital’s two international airports, said bookings have increased two-fold during the peak season, putting airport services under strain.
There can be “passenger build-up at counter check-in areas and at immigration,” Sunsanee said.
In 2015, Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Muang International Airport handled a total of 525,679 flights, up 15.6 percent from the previous year, according to the Thailand Board of Investment.
Up to 15% Returns on Investment
Fixed return investments fully backed by properties.
*15% p.a. paid at the end of the term on capital gain option*
Submit your email address and a member of our team will contact you shortly. Usual response time is 1-2 hours.
Megacities are metropolitans that have populations in surfeit of 10 million inhabitants and contemplate major economic weight in their respective countries. Our Indian Cities database predicts the future Indian megacities to record the fastest rate of real GDP growth...
Modernization Operation and Maintenance of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport, Nagpur through PPP basis
Nagpur, one of the busiest cities and also known as the second capital of Maharashtra, is in the central part of India. This city has a strategic place among the international aviation routes. Even though Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport has been...
Many in the Kingdom’s southern coastal city of Sihanoukville have expressed concern over the toll that increased development is taking on the land and environment. Noting a surge of hotels, condominiums and casinos popping up on the strength of Chinese investments and...
UP TO 15% PER YEAR FIXED RETURN
3 year investment plan, ideal for first-time investors.
Flexible Payment Options
Option to receive interest payments monthly or quarterly.