While the political turmoil last 2013 and 2014 affected Thailand’s hospitality industry, 2015 brought with it a new hope and a record of 29.9 million international travellers.
With Thailand being included in the top ten preferred holiday destinations around the world, the unrest last 2014 may have equated to disaster. However, the impact on the hospitality industry was very little, according to Mike Batchelor, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group’s managing director for Investment Sales.
Then, this means that it was no surprise that up until September 2015, the year-on-year growth in the number of tourists going to Thailand was at 49.9%.
Does this mean a shift in the tourism sector, finally?
Tourists go to Thailand
Batchelor has pointed to the growing activity of budget air carriers that are flying the tourists to some transport hubs like U-Tapao and Surat Thani, which service famous destinations like Pattaya and Koh Samui.
Other factors that are likely going to increase the arrivals in 2016 are the completed Phuket airport expansion, the reopening of Don Mueang airport’s Terminal 2 and the reintroduction of the multiple entry six-month visas.
Cross-border tourism plans
The Thai government is also set on increasing marketing efforts in order to attract cross border tourism from Myanmar and Cambodia, and to promote cruise and marine tourism by connecting Thailand with the Philippines, according to the Nation.
While this recovery pace can be balanced out given the new hotel supply, Batchelor has indicated that mid-tier hotels will likely do well continually due to increased tour groups. These are now getting 70% occupancy rates. Bangkok will have additional rooms with the opening of 5,500 rooms from the mid-scale hotels.
In the luxury sector, the demand is also balancing out the supply. In the next two years, 900 new rooms are projected to increase in Koh Samui.
Good news for the hospitality industry
The Thai hospitality industry in 2016 is generally positive. This means better revenue for the hotel businesses, whether that be a Sukhumvit budget hotel in Bangkok or a luxury hotel in Koh Samui. The increase in tourist numbers is definitely helping the Thai tourism market.