Challenges in the Tourism Industry in Thailand

Thailand has always been a popular tourist destination and tourism provides a major boost to the country’s economy. Bangkok, Hua Hin, Krabi, Samui, Phuket and Cha Am are some of the most attractive tourist destinations in the country.

In 2012, Thailand had a very high number of arrivals. Even the number of Thai citizens who traveled within the country increased. Travel accommodations such as hotels and resorts witnessed various international chains and local chains open new hotels, mainly in the major cities of Thailand.

In 2013, Thailand welcomed more than 26.7 million visitors. The country surpassed 2013’s original target of 26.1 million visitors, representing a 19.6% increase in the number of foreign tourists who visited Thailand in 2012.

However in February 2014, the tourism industry in Thailand has been warned that it will potentially lose revenue to the tune of $2.69 billion if the violent protests and political turmoil in the country dragged for another few months. TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) has estimated that the number of international tourists visiting the popular winter sun destination will drop by 900,000 over the next six months from February 2014. The biggest fall will be in tour groups segment that accounts for around 30-35% of the visitors. However, TAT is in talks with eight tourism associations in order to market themselves during this rough period.

According to National News Bureau of Thailand, since the protests started, tourists’ arrivals for 2014 have been revised from 28.1 million (which was predicted in July 2013) to 27.5 million.

In the first week of December 2013, visitor arrivals at the Bangkok International Airport fell by 15% in comparison to the same period in 2012. However, the tourism arrivals witnessed an increase of over 20% from January to November in 2013 compared to the same period in the previous year.

Thailand is also one of the top medical tourism destinations in the world. Medical tourism is an innovative way of integrating medical services with leisure travel. Medical tourists across the world have increased rapidly from 20 million in 2006 to 40 million in 2012.

Tourism industry in Thailand accounts for more than 7% of Thailand’s economy. Hence, the country needs to bounce back from the current political tension that Thailand is facing to ensure future growth in the tourism industry.

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Future of the US Consumer Electronics Market

The market for consumer electronics has been growing steadily. Some of the factors that are contributing to the growth in the market are technological advancement, rise in disposable income and increasing demand for new products.

During 2012, consumer electronics market in the US demonstrated positive expansion, although the growth rate slowed down considerably following the post-recession rebound. Highly seasonal market for high value consumer electronics led to more dependence on the holiday sales period. However, higher consumer confidence boosted the fortunes of retailers.

In 2012, smartphones and computers led sales in the US consumer electronics market. On the other hand, in-home consumer electronics and in-car entertainment continued to struggle.

In 2012, US economy continued its weak recovery, but weak housing markets and high unemployment kept a lid on consumer discretionary spending. US consumer electronic industry’s performance from manufacturers and consumer electronics retailers was generally negative in 2012 due to the fierce competition and economical behavior of consumers.

In terms of competition, consumer electronics retailers in US continue to feel the pressure from the general big box discounters such as Target and Walmart, as well as from online competitors like Amazon. Wide product availability of increasingly commoditized offerings, customer’s focus on price and increasing online price transparency has enabled the online channel to take share from traditional consumer electronics retailers.

Consumer electronics stores came under pressure due to the economic slowdown, as consumer confidence and customer traffic went down. Growth will be modest in the future, but the revenue is anticipated to pick up due to a number of positive upcoming trends. As business sentiments picks up along with disposable income, consumers will demand electronics that employ the latest technologies like tablet computers and smartphones.

Digital cameras & camcorder, tablet, analog & digital TV, video/audio equipment and personal computers are consumer electronics that are primarily supported by application sectors. The global consumer electronics market is estimated to be worth $1.6 trillion by 2018.

Home appliances and consumer electronics are heavily integrated into the daily routine of Americans. Many major consumer electronics companies are well set in the US market and are expected to grow in the near future.

 

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Overview of the Global Retail Market

The global retail industry continued to grow despite the difficult economic conditions in the world. In the fiscal year of 2011, sales-weighted, currency-adjusted revenue rose by 5.1% to $4.271 trillion for the world’s top 250 retailers.

According to GRDI (Global Retail Development Index), in 2013 Brazil occupied the top spot in retail development. Chile and Uruguay were ranked second and third respectively. Controlled inflation, continued economic and political stability, and sustained economic growth have created a favorable environment for retail development in these Latin American countries. China is ranked fourth but due to the double digit sales growth and rising consumer demand, the Asian country remains a retail powerhouse.

Germany is the most attractive country in terms of the global retail market, as it provides the opportunity to target 20 large cities in one market. It is ahead of UK, France and China. Over 40% of the retailers around the world plan to open a store in Germany in 2014, and this figure increases to 70% when only European retailers are taken into account.

For American retailers, Germany is the second-most important target. In March 2014, sales in US retailing jumped 0.9%. This was the biggest increase since September 2012.

The latest trend in the retail market is the adoption of technology. Technology has enabled consumers to enjoy anytime, anywhere shopping experience. Companies need to have an online presence to increase their customer base and business.

The retail sector has undergone significant transformation in recent decades. Deregulations of foreign investment, land use policy, competition or monopoly policy, alongside broader neoliberal reforms affecting consumer market and trade, have enabled large retailers to consolidate their power and expand globally. On the other hand, small retailers are still dominating in many parts of the world. International corporations are taking over large shares of the market. Large companies are looking to increase their profits and in order to achieve that, they have reduced the risks of investing in subcontracts and franchises. These trends have impacted smaller firms, as well as consumers, suppliers and employees.

Growing economies, changing demographics and increasing disposable income of consumers are the key factors which are going to drive the global retail market in the near future.

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Bright Future Predicted for the Tourism Industry in Singapore

Travel and tourism industry in Singapore has been growing at a steady rate and is considered to be a major contributor to the economic growth of the country. In 2012, Singapore’s IVA (International Visitors Arrivals) reached a record high of 14.5 million, with a growth rate of 10.1% year-on-year.

In recent years, inbound travel to Singapore has seen considerable increase. However, it is forecasted that the growth rate of inbound travel will decline slightly to around 7% to 8% annually till 2017. It is estimated that the inbound arrivals in 2017 will be 20.6 million. The growth in inbound travel will be based on the strength of major source markets in the Asia Pacific region, particularly China.

According to the Singapore Tourism Board, international arrivals in the country for the first 11 months of 2013 grew by 7.2% to 14.5 million from 2012. For the first time in the industry’s history, there were arrivals of more than 14 million before the full 12 month period.

Medical tourism is also contributing to the growth of the overall tourism sector in the country. Singapore is one of the top medical tourism destinations in the world. Singapore’s private hospital offer exceptional health care services as they are equipped with modern technology and highly trained doctors. Singapore has high standards of medical expertise which attracts patients from all over the world to visit the country.

Philippines is a key source market for Singapore’s tourism industry. Indonesia is the largest source market for Singapore followed by China, Malaysia, Australia, India and Japan according to the third quarter of 2013. 77% of international tourists visiting the island come from Asia. The growth in the economy coupled with increase in disposable income will boost domestic travel in the country.

In order to compete with Asian rivals like Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Manila, Singapore’s tourism industry is working on developing its tourism infrastructure. By offering travelers unique and innovative experiences as well as raising the standards of service, the tourism industry in Singapore can flourish in the future.

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Potential of Staffing Market in United States

The staffing industry places individuals into contract, temporary and permanent positions in firms around the world. Major staffing markets include France, Spain, Italy and Japan as well as many emerging markets.

Temporary staffing around the world has been growing, but in US temporary market has been flat since 2006. The majority of staffing revenue majorly comes from temporary staffing.

In 2012, the staffing industry generated approximately $117 billion in US. The majority of this revenue came from temporary staffing and contract staffing, as they contributed $104.8 billion of the total amount. The remaining $12.2 billion came from search and permanent placement services. The work force in America is changing as more and more people are looking for the flexibility provided by temporary work. Companies are increasingly tapping into the flexible labor market in order to have full staff even during busy times.

In 2012, 105 firms generated at least $100 million in the US staffing market. Together, these firms comprise 54.1% of the total market share in the US. The market is expected to grow due to education staffing, engineering staffing and retained search.

There are a wide range of employment-related services provided by the staffing companies. These companies include temporary and contract staffing, outsourcing and outplacement, recruiting and permanent placement, and training and human resources consulting.

An average contract or temporary employee earns around $12 per hour in US; some earn more than their permanent counterparts. Vacations and holiday plan along with health insurance is provided by most of the staffing companies, many companies even offer retirement plans.

According to TechNavio’s analysts, the US staffing market will grow at a CAGR 4.01% between 2012 and 2016. The key factor that is contributing to this market growth is the need to reduce staffing cost. The US staffing market has been witnessing the demand for permanent staffing in the IT sector.

The staffing market is highly influenced by the economic cycles due to labor productivity and unemployment rates. Both have a massive impact on a firm’s hiring rate. According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, US’ GDP (Gross Domestic Product) averaged an annual growth rate of less than 1% during the first quarter of 2013. However, the major challenges the industry is facing are shrinking workforces in major markets due to low birth rates and the strict labor laws.

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Growth in the Indian Watch Industry

Earlier, in India watches were seen as a luxury item. However, watches are now witnessing a fundamental change in perception, and are now gaining respect as an essential utility item. With the liberalization of the Indian market, coupled with the rising purchasing power of the young and consumerist Indians, watch industry in India seems to have a lot of potential to grow in the global market.

In 2012, the market size of the Indian time wear industry was approximately 4,000 to 4,200 crore. Despite the presence of global players and the opening up of the market, the Indian market has been dominated by a single player, Titan. Titan possesses almost 65% of the total market share of the organized watch market in the country. HMT (Hindustan Machine Tools) and Timex are other Indian watch companies. Apart from the domestic companies, many international brands have also penetrated the Indian market. Brands like, Citizen, Rolex, Casio and Omega are some of the international brands that has a presence in the Indian watch market.

Watches are classified into fashion watches and specialist watches. Almost all international brands have a clear position as to where they belong. However, in India these segments are not yet distinguished by marketers, but most of the sales are in the fashion segment. Male watch buyers dominate the Indian market accounting for around 65% of total sales, whereas females represent the remaining 35% of total sales. Students are the largest segment of buyers accounting for around 30% of total sales.

The growing number of working people in cities led to ongoing growth in demand for watches.  The increasing level of penetration of watches in Indian rural areas is contributing to the growth of the watches category as well.

The availability of branded watches across India and the increasing number of exclusive branded outlets helped the watch industry grow. Sales promotions like discounts and additional warranties from leading players like Timex Group and Titan Industries Ltd also stimulated the market growth in the country.

The watch industry in India has a lot of scope in terms of volume and value, as the penetration is still low and the unorganized sector is quite large. There is still an uncertainty to whether Indian companies like Titan will lead this growth or the global majors like Citizen, Seiko etc will take over.

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Global Retail Ready Packaging Market to Witness Steady Growth

The market for retail ready packaging has witnessed impressive growth in recent years with boom in the retail industry. Retail ready packaging, also known as shelf-ready packaging is designed for the retail outlet, ready to be placed on shelf without any need for unpacking or repacking. In 2011, the global market for retail packaging was valued at 54 billion USD and the global demand amounted to 27 million tons of material. By 2017, the global retail packaging market is expected to reach a value of 63.4 billion growing at a compound annual growth rate of 3.57 percent from 2013 to 2018. The demand for retail ready packaging is expected to be around 32.1 million tons by 2017. Development of supermarkets, especially in developing economies is the main market driver for the growth in the retail ready packaging market.

The global ready retail packaging market can be segmented on the basis of product type, geographical region and end-use markets. In terms of product type, the demand for corrugated board is the highest and in 2011, corrugated board accounted for over three-quarters of the total volume of material used in retail ready packaging. Within the corrugated board segment, die-cut containers dominate the market followed by film-wrapped trays and modified cases. Die-cut containers account for almost the half of the corrugated board market, while film-wrapped trays and modified cases account for 17 percent and 5 percent of the market respectively. The food sector accounts for the majority of demand for retail ready packaging. In 2011, almost three-quarters of retail ready packaging demand came from the food sector. In the future, demand for retail ready packaging from non-food sectors is predicted to increase.

In 2011, Europe was the largest market for retail ready packaging, accounting for almost 38 percent of the market share. North America was the second-largest market followed by Asia, accounting for 33 and 22 percent of the market respectively. Key players in the retail ready packaging market are Smurfit Kappa Group, Creative Corrugated Designs Inc., Mayr-Melnhof Karton AG, RFC Container Company, Linpac Packaging Inc., DS Smith Plc and Amcor Ltd. Retail ready packaging offers many advantages such as better product rotation and increased store productivity. In the overall packaging market, retail ready packaging is predicted to emerge as a high growth sector.

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Rapid Growth of the Gems and Jewelry Market in India

India’s gems and jewelry market is one of the major contributors towards the country’s export-led growth. Superior practices in cutting and polishing fine diamonds and precious stones, talented craftsmen and the cost efficiencies have helped the Indian gems and jewelry market attain global popularity.

India has significant reserves of gold as well as ruby, diamonds and other gemstones. Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa are key states with gemstone reserves and mining potential. Andhra Pradesh has diamond and gold bearing areas. Additionally, the state has reserves of abrasive and semi-precious stones spread over different districts. Diamonds in India are only mined by the National Mining Development Corporation, at Panna, in Madhya Pradesh.

Gold and diamond are the two major segments in the Indian gems and jewelry market. Gold consumption in India accounts for more than 20% of the total world gold consumption. Gold jewelry forms around 80% of the Indian jewelry market. The rest of the 20% comprises fabricated studded jewelry that includes diamond and gemstone studded jewelry. A major portion of the gold jewelry manufactured in India is consumed in the domestic market.

In 2011, the Indian gems and jewelry market was worth $30.1 billion. The market is expected to reach $45 billion in 2015. Domestic demand will be the key factor propelling the growth of the gems and jewelry market in the country. India is one of the largest exporters of gems and jewelry and the industry is considered to play an important role in the Indian economy, as it is a leading foreign exchange earner. US, UAE, Singapore, Russia, Hong Kong, China and Latin America are some of the countries where the demand for Indian jewelry is increasing.

India has a unique position in terms of supply and demand for gems and jewelry. According to analysts, the Indian gems and jewelry market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 14.93% between 2012 and 2016. Increasing demand for gold jewelry by Indian consumers is one of the key factors contributing to the market growth. The Indian gems and jewelry market is also witnessing the entry of retail jewelry stores. However, the increase in gold prices could prove challenging to the growth of this market.

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Importance of Global Operational Risk Management Market

Many world economies and financial markets appear to be strengthening after the chaos of the global financial crisis characterized by loss of liquidity and financial market dislocations. Although the financial services sector is recovering, there are still some serious concerns remaining. Around 90% of institutions have a defined risk governance model and approach. 78% reported that their board of directors has approved their risk management policy.

Despite the economic conditions, risk management services are required to provide a stable revenue stream. The global financial and economic crisis revealed the importance of risk management services. Despite of the economic recovery the demand for consulting services has remained strong. Nowadays risk management has a much wider understanding of the discipline and has moved centre stage. It is crucial to identify the importance of risk management as well as to be aware of its limitations.

The global enterprise governance, risk and compliance market will grow from $5.17 billion in 2013 to $9.93 billion in 2018. North America is forecasted to be the biggest market, while Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Europe are forecasted to experience increased hold on the market till 2018.

Datacert (US), Emc Corporation (US), IBM (US), Newport Consulting Group (US), Microsoft (US), Metricstream Inc (US), Halex Business Risk Services (UK), eGestalt Technologies Inc. (US), BWise (Netherlands) are the key players in the eGRC (Enterprise Governance, Risk and Compliance) market.

According to BNY Mellon, more than 80% of the institutional investors anticipate risk management to play an even greater role in the investment decision process in the future. In today’s fast-changing global environment, as companies continue to transform their businesses to succeed, they remain concerned about the rising external market risks that can disrupt their strategic priorities.

One of the key factors contributing to the market growth is the rising demand from emerging markets in the Eastern Europe, Middle East and APAC region. However, complying with the complex regulatory necessities poses one of the biggest challenges in implementing operational risk solution. The marketplace in the financial services has become so complex that continuous enhancement and improvement in the risk management function will continue to be important in the future.

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Bright Prospects Ahead for the Specialty Synthetic Fibers and Glass Fiber Market

The specialty synthetic fibers and glass fiber market has been witnessing rapid growth in recent years due to increase in demand for lightweight materials in various industries. Growing demand for fuel efficient materials in industries such as automotive, aerospace and energy are propelling the growth of the specialty fibers and glass fiber market. By 2018, the market for specialty fibers and glass fiber is estimated to reach a value of 20.1 billion USD, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 5.2 percent from 2013 to 2018. Some of the factors that are driving the market for specialty synthetic fibers and glass fiber market are increasing demand for high performing lightweight materials in various industries, greater usage of such materials in the renewable energy sector and increase in research and development for the development of new and improved products.

 

The global market for specialty fibers and glass fiber can be segmented on the basis of product type, application and demand across different geographical areas. Based on product type, the market can be segmented as para aramids, meta aramids, carbon fiber, glass fiber, ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene, partially oxidized Polyacrylonitrile fiber and other types of specialty fibers which include liquid crystal polymer (LCP) fiber, PPS fiber etc. Based on applications, the global specialty synthetic fibers and glass fiber market can be segmented as automotive, construction, ballistic protection, aerospace and defense, wind energy, medical, optical fiber, electronics, tire reinforcement, commercial marine, friction materials, safety applications, sporting goods, industrial, pressure vessels and others. Based on demand across different geographical areas, the market can be categorized as North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and rest of the world. In the coming years, Asia-Pacific is expected to have the fastest growth rate in the market due to its thriving economy and expanding manufacturing bases. The market for carbon fiber is expected to have the highest growth rate and glass fiber is expected to generate the highest revenue.

 

Key players in the specialty synthetic fibers and glass fiber market are Royal DSM, Teijin Limited, Owens Corning Corporation, Toray Industries Inc., DuPont, Jushi Group Co. Ltd. and Honeywell International Inc. Manufacturers of specialty synthetic fibers and glass fiber manufacturers have increased their research and development endeavor to develop materials that are lighter, safer and more efficient. In 2012, DuPont and Teijin Limited together accounted for more than 80 percent of para aramids market. With their high strength and growing demand in different fields, the global market for specialty synthetic fibers and glass fiber market is forecasted to be bright in the future.

 

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