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What does the B&R Mean to the Tourism Industry in Thailand?

Video: What does the B&R Mean to the Tourism Industry in Thailand?
Well, Once again, welcome professor Jenkins and professor Nopasit to our very first online course on Tourism Development Trends Globally. Well, as you mentioned, both of your lectures that Belt and Road Initiative is a global initiative in which we have all kind of implications for the countries along the road. As I know that you are (a) native Thai and also have extensive experience in teaching, research and consulting the tourism industry in Thailand. And I’m sure you will have a lot of ideas and opinions to share with us. So we would very much like to hear from you what are the implications since the Thailand is one of very important countries on the Belt and Road Initiatives?
So what is your view on this? Yes, actually the impact in the long term is the high speed train from Kunming to Vientiane and to Bangkok that can create a lot of flow of tourists from China to Thailand. We expect about 20 million per year more, from today already 10 millions per year. And also the expansion of the Suvarnabhumi airport, fully utilization of the Don Muang airport and renovation of U-Tapao airport for the tourists who would like to go to Pattaya, Ayutthaya, Chumphon, and Trat, and can go further to Chonburi. And the Thailand are going to invest on the second airport for Chiang Maiand and Phuket. This can enhance the capacity for bringing more Chinese tourists. Ok, very good.
Well, Professor Jenkins, so you have done a lot of research and consulting and also teaching in probably more than 80 countries. And recent years you have been mainy based in Thailand and helping the Chiang Mai university with the research and teaching and also some consulting projects. Your early sections you have also mentioned about Belt and Road Initiatives and I would also like to hear from you, Of course, you have very good understanding about tourism policies and tourism development in China and southeast Asia. So particularly we are talking about Thailand today. I want to hear from you with on your experience globally, regionally. So what does the BRI mean to the tourism industry in Thailand?
I think the first thing to say and most obviously is that as Nopasit said before, I don’t regard realize the project are regard as our vision. It’s going to be along very long time. It’s could be the central future of Chinese economic and political policy and even philosophy. The second point is what makes this different? I think that if you are going to have the development, as Nopasit has mentioned, high speed trains these projects are highly expensive. And one of the things the Chinese government have invested four years ago was to set up the Asian infrastructure investment bank, So that money available for these huge projects. How it’s used in term of which uses a micro bilateral agreement.
There is no doubt to me this is a serious project, Because without investment you cannot have development.
I find over years looking at Thailand closely, it’s a very interesting country. Because if I look now 2017 in term of international tourists arrives about 14th in the world. But in terms of earning of tourism, it’s No.3. It’s actually ahead of China. So what they managed to do then is the develop type of tourism, which actually spends a lot of money in the country and this is every country’s ambition. But looking at how the Belt and Road is that mean professor Nopasit was saying a figure, may be 20 million simply as a result of the train.
If you then think of Bangkok as an Asian hub, if you think of the new airport in Chiang Mai has been the regional hub, it’s so easy to get the places like Laos and Myanmar. And if you go to other way to Malaysia and to the Philippines, so what I would say is as more and more not just Chinese, but more and more Asian foreign tourists come to Thailand. Then you have a problem how do you deal with the success? One of the things you have to decide is that look we can’t accommodate all these people in Bangkok. Say good. how go to the region? you gonna see one of the attractions of Thailand. Is that many different attractions?
You have sea coast, you have cities you have the culture, you have the north, you have the south. So in that sense, then I would expect that the Belt and Road will have a very significant effect in the numbers coming into Thailand initially. But also, eventually Thailand is might will become a two center holiday. We go to Bangkok, we go to Thailand. And then we have for to be with more or somewhere else. So I would regard this is very positive development. But as we know when tourism develops, you also have problems. And the one of the important things is this, the policy issue usually relate to the future development of the tourism industry. Thank you very much.
I think you both give us very good insights on sort of more broader perspective and BRI implications for Thailand and for the region. So we stop here and then we’ll move on to the next question to be specifically look at what kind of impacts that these kind of mass tourists going to Thailand, environmentally, socially, and also economically. So we stop here and we will continue our discussion for the following questions. Thank you.

What are other professors’ ideas about the Belt and Road Initiative? The coming interview videos will give you some ideas.

The Belt and Road Initiative is a global initiative in which it may have all kinds of implications for the countries along the road. Can you give some specific cases related to the countries you are in?

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