According to the Thai Hotels Association (THA), and ahead of some key reports, the hotel business in Thailand is expected to have grown in the last year by 5-7 per cent, despite some pull backs in October 2017.
Occupancy rates are also expected to have shown a rise during the last year with the average rate likely to be between 70 per cent and 75 percent, an increase of five to seven per cent over the previous year.
The average number did hide various geographic differences. For example hotels in the south are expected to post occupancy rates of 80 per cent to 85 per cent, whereas those in the northeast are likely to be closer to 65 per cent. Bangkok occupancy rates are expected to be in line with the average. Pattaya is expected to see occupancy rates increase from 67 per cent to 75.1 per cent.
The outlook is for Phuket and the south to continue to see strong demand and for occupancy rates in those areas to increase the most.
The president of the Thai Hotels Association, Supawan Tanomkieatipum, was quoted as saying, “So far, overall hotel business will see growth this year. The THA expects that the sector will continue to grow over the next five years if there is no crisis.”
Total arrivals to Thailand from January 2017 to October 2017 stood at 28.8 million, representing a 6.7% increase from the same period in the previous year. Arrivals from China, Malaysia, Laos, South Korea, India, Japan, Russia, Cambodia, the US and the UK made up the top ten source markets.
The governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Yuthasak Supasorn, was quoted as saying, “With the launch in November of the TAT’s new ‘Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018’ marketing concept, which focuses on segments like sports, gastronomy, weddings and honeymoons [and] luxury and community-based tourism, we’re confident of even higher visitor growth.”
There is not only a focus on international tourists. Indeed domestic tourism grew quite dramatically in the period. Thais made a total of 110 million trips within Thailand, a 6.3 per cent increase on the same period in the previous year. This generated 695 billion baht in tourist related revenue out of a total of 2.26 trillion baht when taking into account international tourists. Domestic tourism helped to boost hotel occupancy rates.
It was noted that there is still over supply in the major markets of Pattaya, Bangkok and Phuket, but that this supply is likely to be gradually utilized going forward. This could lead to higher hotel prices in the years to come as rooms become harder to find in key resorts. For now, however, Thailand provides hotels that are of generally high quality and still the best value for money compared to many other countries.