The eastern parts of Thailand is expected to witness a sustained growth in the hotel and tourism industries, driven up largely by the national government’s massive Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme and China’s “Belt and Road” initiative. The latter, a new report said, is proving to be a game-changer.
The EEC, Bangkok’s flagship infrastructure program, is seen to conspire with the ripple effects of China’s economic expansion, resulting to the further development of Thailand eastern provinces. In its latest report titled Rayong Hotel Market Update, consultancy firm C9 Hotelworks pointed to Rayong as a showcase location of the phenomenal growth.
“The EEC is expected to result in an economic leap forward for Rayong in the medium to long term,” the report indicated.
In 2017 alone, Rayong was visited by an estimated seven million tourists and a huge chunk came from abroad. The same C9 report showed Thailand remains a popular attraction among Chinese, Japanese and Korean travellers but the latest trend also pointed to rising arrivals coming from Western Europe and Russia. Many of these tourists found their way to Rayong and C9 said the trend will continue in the years to come.
The U-Tapao Factor
The report by C9 pinpointed the constantly growing U-Tapao International Airport as key indicator of the underway economic boom. Last year, the airport posted growth of 47 percent in aircraft movement and is now well positioned to accommodate inbound and outbound flights from 26 overseas cities.
The U-Tapao redevelopment works will soon shape the terminal as “a third Greater Bangkok gateway airport,” the C9 report said.
As a direct result of the U-Tapao airport’s busier traffic in the years ahead, Rayong will emerge as a new destination option for visitors who normally would head to Pattaya and other more popular stops in Thailand.
In addition, Rayong will benefit from the national government’s EEC- related projects such as the focused expansion planned for the Map Ta Put and Laem Chabang industrial zones, and the upcoming high-speed railway network that Bangkok will co-develop with fund injections of nearly $4 billion.
It is forecasted that the EEC will further fuel Rayong’s economic growth and in turn the resulting prosperity will fire up the province’s hospitality industry. To be sure, the benefits will be reaped by the local hotel market players, the C9 report said.
Undeniably, the imprints of China’s “Belt and Road” thrust will be seen with Rayong’s upward movement. The program has become “a global phenomenon,” with positive spillover effects on neighbouring economies.