The deflation forecast is based on low oil and commodity prices amid a recession. Core inflation, excluding sensitive food and energy prices, is expected to recede from 2.3 per cent last year to 0-1 per cent.
The oil price movement must be closely monitored as violence in the Gaza Strip may push up the price and exacerbate the global recession, the research house said in its report.
TAT kicks off Visit Isaan Year 2009-10
The Tourism Authority of Thailand has kicked off "Visit Isaan Year 2009-10", aimed at encouraging locals to travel to the Northeast as part of its tourism-recovery plan.
Wansadet Thavornsuk, TAT deputy governor for domestic marketing, said yesterday more than 24 million trips to the region are expected this year, up 9.1 per cent from last year. Of those, 23 million will be made by locals from elsewhere in the Kingdom.
He said 22 million trips were made to the region last year, up 3.9 per cent from 2007.
The TAT expects the region to reap revenues of Bt40 billion this year, up 11.11 per cent from last year's Bt36 billion.
To encourage more visitors, the agency is working with hotel and travel companies to promote Isaan as a popular destination for locals and foreigners alike, featuring the lowest prices in the country.
"Some chic hotels are offering rates of less than Bt1,000 a night, which should help attract more travellers during the campaign," Wansadet said.
TAT offices in the region will also join hands with the private sector to initiate more campaigns and other activities to encourage more visitors.
Unilever smells more sales from new Axe
Unilever Thai Trading is spending Bt30 million to boost sales of its newly launched Axe deodorant.
About 1.5 million free samples will be distributed at major meeting points and marketing activities will be organised at entertainment centres to reach target customers for the new product.
The Bt2.8-billion deodorant market was divided last year into roll-on with 63 per cent, spray with 10 per cent and stick 18 per cent.
Unilever is the leader with a combined market share of 30 per cent.
Jet Airways runs Ganesh contest
Jet Airways, which is the major sponsor of the 3D animated movie "Bal Ganesh", will give away six package tours to India, including return air tickets.
The tours will have a Ganesh theme and include visits to famous Ganesh and Buddhist sites. The winners will be chosen in a lucky draw to be held on February 14.
The sponsorship of Bal Ganesh is the first in a series of activities which will be unveiled by Jet Airways on the theme of heritage and discovery.
Thailand manager Lackana Wantaywin said yesterday the sponsorship would draw young people to the shared heritage of Thailand and India.
Eastin welcomes new general manager
Eastin Hotels and Eastin Residences Group has welcomed Mark Heather as group general manager. He will be based at Eastin Hotel Makkasan and oversee all properties.
Heather was most recently employed as general manager of Anantara Golden Triangle Resort.
Prior to moving back to Thailand, he was a general manager at Harbour View Hotel in Vietnam where he upgraded all the products and services and for the first time brought profit to the owner, Minor International.
Previously he opened two luxury boutique resorts in southern Thailand, namely Nakamanda in Krabi and La Flora Khao Lak.
He was also general manager at Villa Santi Hotel and Resort in Laos' world heritage site, Luang Prabang.