January 5, 2023
BANGKOK – Hotels in Thailand expect occupancy rates to start picking up in the second half of this year, especially since travel has become easier and China will lift restrictions from Sunday.
The Hotel Business Operator Sentiment Study, conducted by the Thai Hotel Association and the Bank of Thailand last month, shows that most hotels expect their revenue to rise by 10-30%.
The study, which covered 95 hotels, showed that most operators expect to welcome more guests this year.
This forecast is feasible because the average occupancy rate in December was 63%, up from 59% in November. Thailand expects arrivals to continue rising during the high season, which runs from November to March.
Though most hotels expect their occupancy rates to rise, hotels in the South expect to do far better with the arrival of European and American tourists.
The occupancy rate forecast for this month is about 60%.
However, despite the optimism, many hotels say they still face challenges like rising costs, global recession and labour shortage. They all hope the government will step in and lend a helping hand.
The survey showed that almost all hotel operators, especially small and medium-sized ones, want the government to help cut costs, provide low-interest loans, extend repayment periods and launch more subsidies like the “Rao Tiew Duay Kan” (We Travel Together) scheme. They also called on the government to ease regulations for migrant workers.
Tourism and hotel operators also want the government to provide training and upskill the workforce in a bid to propel forward the tourism and hotel industries.
Meanwhile, all hotel operators have pledged to help prevent a new Covid-19 wave by prioritising hygiene standards. They said they will ensure strict adherence to public health regulations, so the industry can drive the country’s economy and instil confidence in tourists.
The survey results were released shortly after the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) announced that Thailand had seen 11.81 million foreign arrivals last year. Most visitors were from Malaysia, followed by India, Laos, Cambodia and Singapore.
TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the agency’s goal this year is to attract at least 25 million foreigners and generate 2.38 trillion baht in tourism revenue.