ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Bangkok 2nd best place globally to shop
Bangkok rated best in two very important categories of the visitor experience, shopping and value for money. Said Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Suraphon Svetasreni, “This is a very important result for us because it underscores the success of our marketing campaign. We have always sought to position Thailand as a shopping paradise, thanks to our value for money factor and extensive diversity of products and services.”
Thailand recorded a 31% increase in tourism receipts in 2011 over 2010, according to Ministry of Tourism and Sports figures. The total earnings of 776 billion baht (US$25.45 billion) were also well above the original target of 716 billion baht (US$23 billion). Visitor spending per capita per day in 2011 averaged 4,187 baht, of which 24% (1,001 baht) was spent on shopping, the second highest expenditure item after accommodation.
The growth in total number of visitors, projected at 20.5 million in 2012 and 22.45 million in 2013, is being matched by increased average length of stay and average daily expenditure, further underscoring the role of tourism as one of the most important economic sectors and contributor to job creation and nationwide income distribution.
Overall, the expenditure figures show that the recent strengthening of the baht against the US$ is having little impact and Thailand remains good value for money for visitors across the board. The availability of a broad range of products from the latest designer goods to traditional Thai arts and crafts is further enhanced by the VAT refund scheme.
However, the USTR has declared eight more markets in Thailand as “Notorious” selling fake brand products.
Counterfeit is not just a problem in Thailand, globally, counterfeit is a big business. Wikipedia says, in November 2009, the OECD updated these estimates, concluding that the share of counterfeit and pirated goods in world trade had increased from 1.85% in 2000 to 1.95% in 2007. That represents an increase to US$250 billion worldwide. Wikipedia also says, currently, when calculating counterfeit products, current estimates place the global losses at $400 billion
In USTR review of Notorious Markets issued on Dec 13; Chatuchak, MBK, Siam Square, Klong Thom, Sukhumvit Road and Patpong Market in Bangkok, Karon beach and Patong in Phuket, ITCity in Pattaya, and the Rong Kluea and Friendship markets at the Aranyaprathet border crossing with Cambodia.
Thailand’s Intellectual Property Department’s statistics show that raids on intellectual property rights pirates in the first nine months of this year resulted in 8,416 cases, with 6.2 million items seized. For example, this week, 30,000 items of falsely branded cosmetics worth an estimated 30 million baht had been seized in Pathum Thani province by the Department of Special Investigation.
USTR says the “Notorious” markets have been selected for inclusion both because they exemplify wider concerns about global trademark counterfeiting and/or copyright piracy, and because their scale and popularity can cause economic harm to the US and other intellectual property rights holders, the report says. The notorious markets list does not purport to reflect findings of legal violations, nor does it reflect the US governments analysis of the general climate of intellectual property right protection and enforcement of in the countries concerned, however, the report says.
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