Investment heads for Thailand’s EEC

PHUKET, 17 April 2018: China’s outward-bound economic expansion is making a massive impact on Thailand’s enormous infrastructure initiative, the EEC (Eastern Economic Corridor).

A clear example of this is seen 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 it will increase considerably.

Thai and overseas investors are now flocking corridor region. Tourism revenue to Rayong province in 2017 totalled just over US$1 billion and is expected to rise sharply this year.

Airlift at U-Tapao, the nearest airport to Rayong’s main tourist destinations, already has flights serving 26 overseas cities.

C9 Hotelworks’ latest research showed aircraft movements surged by 47% year-on-year growth, last year, with much of the international lift now coming from Mainland China.

Thailand’s Rayong tourism and hotel sectors supercharged by China’s ‘Belt and Road’ economic phenomenon

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.

Looking closely at the EEC investment that are underpinning 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 increases on the back of activity and expansion of industrial zones.  Russian tourists along with western Europeans are being attracted by the coastal resort areas and offshore islands.

“The China domino effect from the ‘Belt and Road’ is clearly a game changer for Rayong,” said Barnett summing up the market outlook.

To read and download the full report