Pandemic economic impact hits Phuket hotels as 73% of new projects put on hold
Island’s transaction market heats up as owners face liquidity issues, while broad tourism sentiment wanes
PHUKET, THAILAND: Thailand’s battered hotel sector is showing increased signs of fatigue as the global pandemic enters its third year. Nowhere is this more apparent than the resort island of Phuket, where over 73% per cent of new hotel developments either lay dormant or have been put in hold.
According to data in the newly released Phuket Hotel Market Update 2022 from C9 Hotelworks hospitality consulting, the once robust island hotel pipeline has owners now suffering from ‘fear factor’ as they continue to reel in the wake of a volatile marketplace and unclear future outlook. Negative sentiment and stressed liquidity have impacted development, which has seen an incoming supply of 33 hotels with 8,616 rooms facing an unknown future.
Drilling down on the pipeline data, 55% of the hotel projects are mixed-use, or hotel residences with rental-based investment schemes that target individual investment buyers. In light of the economic climate C9 research indicates that some of these real estate-led hospitality projects are unlikely return to the pipeline.
While glossy tourism campaigns that focus on quality vs. quantity are the new mantra across the country, reality bites hard on an island that went from hosting over 9 million passenger arrivals at Phuket International Airport in 2019 to just over 900,000 in 2021. The sizable 90% decline, coupled with the fact there are already 1,786 registered tourism establishments and 92,604 hotel rooms in current supply mean empty beds that need tourists.
Speaking to the situation, C9 Hotelworks Managing Director Bill Barnett says “over 40% of the island’s international visitors two years ago were either from China or Eastern Europe including Russia. While I’m asked daily about when will Phuket recover, the truth of the matter is we are pushing out our estimates of a cyclical return to 2025.
“The elephant in the room for the moment is China. The conundrum is that while I fully expect Phuket stabilized numbers to return given its favorable geographic location, tourism-oriented infrastructure and demonstrated airlift capacity but macro political and economic issues are clouding the short-term horizon.”
Phuket led all of Southeast Asia in a remarkable effort of widespread vaccinations and the pioneering Sandbox re-entry program. But a look at the current situation which has seen a return to seasonal trading and departure of winter snowbird travelers dissipate, now has the island looking for replacement markets. As other regional neighbors such as Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines roll out quarantine free travel, Thailand remains in an uncompetitive situation given its beleaguered Test & Go process.
Hoteliers in Phuket have been quick to address damage control from the Ukraine Russia crisis, but most of the Russian market falls away in March historically. Three notable source markets that are ramping up airlift to Phuket are Australia, India and the Middle East, and these remain bright spots, though none have demonstrated traffic to match the mass Chinese market.
While Phuket’s tourism-leveraged economy has survived the first two years of the pandemic largely intact, C9’s Bill Barnett says “the remainder of 2022 and beyond is already seeing a rapid escalation of hotels coming up for sale. Most of these are not at highly distressed levels but what it indicates is that legacy investment sentiment in hospitality assets is experiencing a changing of the guard.
“The number of Thai hotel owners and also foreign investors that are retreating from the sector is expected to grow. C9’s opinion of the slowdown in the pipeline and high activity in the transaction market is this is not an entirely bad thing and will likely reframe supply and demand over the medium term in a return to a more solid, rational and less speculative marketplace.”
Another change in attitude for island hotel owners has been a wave of conversions of independent properties to brands given that many of the highest performing properties during the Phuket Sandbox reopening and growth in domestic travelers was to branded hotels. While another outcome has also seen a number of internationally managed properties converted from management to franchises. This reality of owners operating under global brands and a new influx of white label management has been a trend that was coming anyway and has only been accelerated by the pandemic.
Despite the bricks and mortar reality of Phuket’s tourism journey back to the future, the backstory of it has been a large-scale exodus of hospitality and service staff from the industry. Given the many stops and starts, opening and closings of hotels and businesses, the shine of tourism’s ‘Amazing Thailand’ byline has been lost on a generation of workers.
While business levels have continued to grow at moderate levels, staff shortages continue to plague the industry and perhaps the greatest challenge that lies ahead for Phuket hotels is regaining its greatest asset – hotel staff to serve tourists when they eventually return. That said, this same comment currently applies across all of Southeast Asia and the world, implying doing more with less staff will have to be the new tourism norm.
Download C9 Hotelworks Phuket Hotel Market Update 2022 – CLICK
THAILAND’S TOURISM INDUSTRY UNITES AT TTF 2022 AS HOSPITALITY LEADERS SIGN PLEDGE FOR THE FUTURE
Tourism leaders call for a full opening up of the country as concerns emerge that Thailand is losing the initiative to regional competitors and will not achieve 10 million arrivals in 2022
For Immediate Release, 1 March 2022
BANGKOK, THAILAND: More than 500 delegates, including many of Thai tourism and hospitality’s most senior figures, came together at the 11th Thailand Tourism Forum (TTF 2022) on 1st March 2022, with the aim of charting a strong and sustainable path out of the global pandemic.
TTF 2022, Thailand’s largest annual tourism and hospitality event, taking place as the industry grapples with an unprecedented period of crisis, opportunity, threat and disruption, ran under the theme #ThaiTourismUnited and kicked off with the Thailand Tourism Leadership Summit, which saw influential CEOs set out their joint vision for the future and jointly sign the Thailand Tourism Pledge.
Together, these leaders committed to forging a new strategic direction for Thailand, including placing tourism at the forefront of the national economy, putting the service sector back to work, achieving sustainable growth, and making international visitors feel safe and secure. The Thailand Tourism Pledge will lay the foundations upon which Thai tourism can be rebuilt from the ground up, following the devastation of the global pandemic.
Key to the discussion and among the excitement of the opportunity to create a better tourism future for Thailand, was a clear call by all leaders that it was time the country fully opened up. See opening remarks on the Thailand Tourism Pledge here:
Ms. Proudputh Liptapanlop, Executive Director of Proud Group, which owns numerous tourism assets including two InterContinental branded hotels in Hua Hin and Phuket, said: “In Thailand we need to open up. We need everyone to understand that we need to open up the country for their good and for the benefit of the country.”
Mr. Bill Heinecke, Chairman/Founder Minor International, added: “If we don’t open up we can’t be competitive. Currently the rules are just too complicated. We are not even 10% of where we were pre-Covid and Thailand will not reach its target of 10 million arrivals in 2022. We are falling behind. We are not even keeping up with our neighbours.”
“There’s no choice anymore,” commented Marisa Sukosol, President of Thailand Hotels Association. “Thailand must open up and stop Test & Go. In fact, it must Let It Go! We need to move our mentality from a pandemic to an endemic.”
TTF 2022 kicked off with a series of addresses, debates and discussions to help attendees devise strategies to survive and thrive in the post-pandemic era. Jesper Palmqvist, STR’s Area Director for Asia Pacific, presented the latest critical data, while Clarence Tan of Hilton and Charles Blocker, CEO of IC Partners, discussed “Why Hotel Operators Must Change”, Jakkrapong Chinkrathok, CEO & founder of Find Folk, focused on environmental issues with his “Green Thailand” session, and Wimintra Raj, Editor-in-Chief at Hotel Intel, went “Behind the Mask” to discuss new travel experiences. Other hot topics on the quickfire agenda included cryptocurrencies, hybrid spaces, hotel transactions and more.
Mr. Bill Barnett, Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks, concluded: “The reason we are here in-person is that this is where it starts. Travelling again starts today. We have to open the country and be competitive with Vietnam and the Maldives and put our service sector back to work.”
TTF 2022 was hosted in compliance with all necessary health and safety regulations. The host venue, Conrad Bangkok, is SHA+ certified and all attendees will be required show proof of two vaccinations.
For more information, please visit thailandtourismforum.com.
Domestic Property Buyers Swoop on Thai Resort Destinations as Second Home Market Soars
Changes in lifestyle and Covid-19 fatigue highlight a dramatic rise in urban flight
Thailand’s resort real estate markets have experienced a dramatic reset in buyer profiles over the past eighteen months of the pandemic. A strong wave of domestic demand has seen Thai’s flocking to the country’s leisure destinations and snapping up holiday or second homes.
According to new data released by Thai property portal FazWaz, the popular Thai seaside resort area of Hua Hin has seen buying interest grow significantly in year-to-date online inquiries. FazWaz Co-Founder and CEO Brennan Campbell said: “By tracking the data from Q2 2020 to mid-2021 on buying motivation of either a holiday home or for investment purposes, we can see a change in behavior towards lifestyle purchases in Phuket, Koh Samui and Pattaya, with the sharpest uptick being Hua Hin.”
In Phuket, where resort grade real estate over the past decade has been highly leveraged by foreign buyers, Boon Yongsakul, Chairman of Boat Pattana said “our Shambala luxury pool villa project in Bangtao Beach initially targeted legacy overseas buyers in the Laguna Phuket area. But by the middle of last year, we saw a strong influx of Bangkok buyers and this has continued to drive sales momentum to date”.
“One of the most notable characteristics in Thai buyers that has changed is the desire for resort living, quality of life, and outdoor areas. If you look back five years, island real estate was focused on investment-type condominiums, but today it’s single-family homes or second residences,” continued Mr Yongsakul.
Trying to get a fix on what is the new normal for Thailand’s resort property market, consulting group C9 Hotelworks Managing Director Bill Barnett weighed in with “Bangkok’s worsening pollution problems play a part in real estate purchase values. Another is the pandemic ‘Zoom-factor’ that has created what we expect to be a longer-lasting trend of working from home. Real estate developers are now facing changing consumer tastes for flex-specs and recreational areas.”
The trend for buyers seeking a lifestyle reset is clear in Hua Hin where property developer Tjeert Kwant, CEO of Banyan Residences, says there has been a significant rise in buyers looking to escape the city and enjoy a more healthy, active lifestyle. “This for us has been the key driver with families and couples and looking for spacious second homes outside of Bangkok.”
Adds Brennan Campbell of FazWaz “looking at our Insights data for Hua Hin, 64% of transactions are now from the domestic market. The impact of the pandemic is going to have a lasting impact on what drives Thai’s to purchase property and there is one thing for certain, the times are changing fast, and moving out of the city at a pace we have not seen before.”
WELCOME BACK HOME. An Interactive Online Tourism Event
Tourism eyes around the world are focused on the resort island of Phuket, Thailand. In the last two weeks the reopening of international, vaccinated travel to the Phuket Sandbox has created a model for other resort destinations to restart their tourism economies. A key emerging storyline from the island’s frenzied runaway to 1st July has been the remarkable cross sector partnerships that has become a true catalyst of change.
This timely one-hour online event is an opportunity to hear from industry experts who have been involved in the process and will be sharing their learnings. The event will also have an extensive question and answer session. The event will be particularly useful for those in the travel trade industry, media and tourism sectors given the Sandbox platform will likely emerge in other destinations.
Koh Samui’s Tourism Hopes Pinned on International Travelers
Sandboxes, islands, and beaches headline return of Thailand tourism
For Immediate Release, 10th July, 2021
It’s baby steps at the moment as Thailand’s Robinson Crusoe-inspired, island-focused international travel reopening plan is set to roll out in Koh Samui on 15th July. Unlike the Phuket Sandbox program for vaccinated travelers, the Samui Plus sealed-route will test the water with a hybrid approach of three days in a hotel quarantine scenario and then allows visitor’s island-wide free access from the fourth day onwards.
In anticipation of overseas travelers flying to the idyllic holiday island in the Gulf of Thailand over 60 hotels have been certified in the SHA Plus safety and health program according to hospitality consulting group C9 Hotelworks’ research. Gateway carrier Bangkok Airways has confirmed three domestic daily ‘sealed route’ flights from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport starting in the middle of the month. International Samui Plus visitors will be required to fly via Bangkok and transit on these designated flights.
Koh Samui’s island economy is heavily dependent on tourism with over 600 registered tourism establishments and nearly 24,000 rooms. The impact of the pandemic can best be highlighted when looking at the airlift, comparing pre-pandemic 2019 and the onset and ongoing impact of Covid-19 which saw airline passenger traffic drop 64% year-on-year.
Speaking about the process of a gradual stepped programme for accepting overseas arrivals, C9 Hotelworks Managing Director Bill Barnett said “the learnings from the first week of the Phuket Sandbox will likely follow a similar pattern. Over 2,300 international arrivals have come to the island with more than 140,000 confirmed hotel nights booked in SHA Plus hotels through August. Demand has remained strong and is now demonstrated, which bodes well for Koh Samui’s chances.”
He added “an ancillary impact of the Sandbox is the restoration of regularly scheduled direct flights between the two islands from 16th July starting with four flights a week this month and becoming daily in August. In analyzing tourism, we look to the sky for answers as the logical starting point, and this increased airlift is a key driver for the tourism economy.”
Moving to the outlook for the island’s lodging industry, C9 Hotelworks’ new Koh Samui Hotel Market Update points out that the likely recovery journey will be top-down, with many travelers taking advantage of competitive rates in luxury and upscale tier hotels. C9 is forecasting the short to medium-term impact to be in rising demand at the expense of room rates as travelers tend to historically trade up in post-crisis travel.
As Covid-19 has landed the tourism industry in unknown territory, leading global data group STR’s Area Director for Asia Pacific Jesper Palmqvist weighed in with “since Q2 in 2020 when the crisis started, we have seen three hotel peak periods in Koh Samui, where levels reached beyond the bare minimum – Mid-October 2020 for the long weekend, New Year’s Eve, and most recently the Songkran holiday where occupancies reached close to 50%. These spikes in demand came from the domestic market and once the international factor comes into play, more stability will evolve.”
While Thailand’s tourism fortunes remain highly focused on islands, C9’s Bill Barnett is quick to say “it’s important to remember that Koh Samui and Phuket remain only small pieces of a bigger puzzle and that even Robinson Crusoe had to eventually get onto a raft and return to the larger world at hand. Until the entire country gets better, the sandbox remains a relatively small stage.”
Download: C9 Hotelworks Samui Hotel Market Update.
Phuket’s Tourism High-Season Hopes Shattered in Policy Flip-flop
New airport and hotel data from research group C9 Hotelworks triggers alarm bells over worsening economic outlook
For Immediate Release, 10th November, 2020
Phuket: Thailand’s leading resort island Phuket has come face-to-face with the reality that it’s tourism high-season will not see a marked reopening to overseas travelers. In the wake of the dismantling of the ‘Phuket Model’ and refocus by the government on using Bangkok as a single international gateway, there is increasing alarm over the lack of a path forward for the island’s rice bowl – tourism.
The key tourism indicator for the island is airlift and Phuket International Airport is the gateway for 70-80% of visitors to the destination. According to Airports of Thailand data, 121,530 passengers arrived in the month of September. This equates to just over 4,000 arrivals a day and a portion of these include local residents and business people. Comparing year-on-year data, 2019’s daily arrivals which included international travelers was five times higher.
Commenting on the toxic situation, hospitality consulting group C9 Hotelworks Managing Director Bill Barnett says “there is a dramatic change in the market mix where the current domestic-led average length of stay for hotels is approximately 1.8 days, while for foreign travelers it’s more than double this amount. What this means for hotels is severely reduced overall demand across the island’s entire accommodation sector.”
Looking forward to the high season when the numbers spike upwards in the four months of December through March, the high season months last year equated to more than one-third of annual demand. Total domestic and international arrivals at the airport totaled just over 9 million in 2019. Adding in high season shoulder months into the equation, the stark economic impact of Phuket’s economic seasonality is reflected in the fact that well over half of the island’s tourism arrivals are packed into a six-month period.
Now, nearly two months into that timeframe, what is apparent is it’s virtually impossible to save the high season and hotel owners in 2021 will be forced to contend with historically the lowest trading months of the year by May. Given these grim prospects, C9 is predicting large-scale job losses and business closures given there is no light at the end of the pandemic-induced tunnel.
“Taking a 360-degree view on the restricted domestic-only demand, you have to take into account that Phuket’s current registered accommodation supply has continued to surge to its present size of 90,267 rooms in 1,773 hotels/tourism establishments” adds Barnett. “Of this supply upper midscale, upscale, and luxury properties of international standards are approximately 25% of the total rooms.”
Data from leading data intelligence provider STR daily has Phuket occupancy averaging 10% with upward spikes on weekends at international standard hotels. Looking into the number though, the reality is domestic travelers are cashing in on cheap deals at upscale and luxury hotels. Given limited visitor arrivals the far larger mid and economy tiers where most of the hotel inventory sits, are experiencing even lower occupancy. This domino effect is expected to prevail unabated throughout a sustained downturn and effectively crushes the smaller properties and local tourism businesses.
As Thailand’s government policy has maintained Bangkok as the sole entry point for a limited number of travelers from overseas under the Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) program, a number of hotels in all tiers are operating under the scheme. Hotel performance data for Bangkok from STR is reflecting occupancy just above 25% for international standard hotels, though again in the broader marketplace demand is at considerably lower levels.
In Phuket, many hotels pinned high-season hope on the now-aborted ‘Phuket Model’ to allow Special Tourist Visa’s (STV’s) aimed at long-staying visitors, which is logical given the island’s legacy winter ‘snowbird’ market from Northern Europe and Russia. Putting the Alternative Local State Quarantine program at the head of the reopening tourism initiative, 17 Phuket hotels have been approved and 21 applications are under process. Properties who have undertaken both the expense and time in qualifying for the status have been shut-out, given the government’s about-face policy of centralizing all overseas arrivals into Bangkok.
What is unclear is the logic in policy flip flop on negating the island’s essential tourism lifeline. Using smaller contained resort-focused islands would appear a logical risk mitigation strategy that was echoed in all of the hype over the ‘Phuket Model’ but after the dust has settled, it ultimately failed to launch.
The time has come that Thailand must gain confidence from international benchmarks, such as the tourism dependent Maldives. According to data from the nation’s Ministry of Tourism, in October the destination recorded 21,514 tourist arrivals. This trend is again on the rise in November and looking back the country has safely managed the reopening of its borders since mid-July. Another nearby island, namely Singapore is set to put an overseas travel bubble into place within this month to Hong Kong (SAR).
Putting Phuket’s economy debacle into perspective C9’s Bill Barnett says “losing this high-season will further intensify the catastrophic impact on the island’s business owners and the livelihoods of the vast majority of residents. Given the sheer size of the hotel inventory, it cannot survive only on domestic visitors, cheaper airfares, or by adding more public holidays. For Phuket, this high season, faced with the prevailing arithmetic the island can only wait and wonder what comes next.”
Global Hotel Chains Refocus to Management-Light Approach to Weather COVID Storm
Soft Brands, Franchising and Third-Party Hospitality Operators Rising in Across Southeast Asia
For Immediate Release, 5th November, 2020
BANGKOK Dramatic changes are happening to new hotel development projects across Southeast Asia due to the severe COVID-19 triggered slowdown with global and regional chains rapidly shifting their attention to conversion opportunities and a management-light approach.
From a market size assessment, the stakes are high, according to data from STR, with over 80% of their reporting 8,757 international standard hotels in Southeast Asia classified as independent. The recent Soft Brand Hotels Review research by hospitality consulting group C9 Hotelworks further notes that the top three countries in the region with the highest number of independent hotels are Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Southeast Asia’s explosive hospitality growth trajectory over the past decade has been driven by developers new to the industry or those expecting hyper-tourism growth. This love affair with hotels has quickly soured in the wake of the pandemic and suddenly owners are looking for stopgap measures for their multimillion-dollar assets as operating losses mount by the day.
“It’s ugly out there and about to get uglier,” says C9 Hotelworks Managing Director Bill Barnett. “Rising pressure from lenders, and a mounting storm of unpredictability has set hotel owners adrift in a sea of economic uncertainty.
“This is especially prevalent in the midscale and upscale tiers, as most markets are domestic reliant, and seeing cheap deals at the top end of the market creates a domino effect across tiers. Bottom line, there simply is not enough broad demand to sustain Southeast Asia’s hotel sector and the squeeze is felt directly where the largest room supply sits, in the middle.”
Another key hotel trend across the region highlighted in C9 Hotelworks’ research is the emergence of greater emphasis on soft brand offerings by global brands such as ACCOR, Marriott, and Hilton. This light approach takes in to account a growing number of owners who want their name reflected on properties and non-standardized design approaches. Add on the fast-track to conversions for operating properties or options to franchise for experienced developers and there is clear evidence of major shifts in the industry.
Speaking to this C9’s Bill Barnett adds, “Southeast Asia’s hotel industry is being driven into a new cycle by the necessity generated by the pandemic, and common practices in North America and Europe that are now accelerating into the region. Our research shows fast development in franchising, third party operators, and a pivot by international chains to management-light approaches. Given the significant size of independent hotels, it’s a logical step to fish where the fish are.”
Summing up the post-COVID outlook, David Johnson CEO of Delivering Asia Communications says “distribution and brand are on the cusp of a new disruptive cycle. While it’s a total departure from the standardized mass-market approach in recent times it is without a doubt the shape of things to come.”
To download C9 Hotelworks report Soft Brand Hotels – Southeast Asia Market Review:
You might also want to view C9 Hotelworks recent virtual online event on Soft Brands and White Label Hotels with leading hotel groups and experts speaking.
Phuket Hotels Fight For Their Lives As Massive Economic Fallout Expected From Failure Of Domestic Tourism To Support The Industry
New research by consulting group C9 Hotelworks points to Covid-19’s crippling implications with airport arrivals plunging, the Phuket Model stuttering and 50,000 jobs expected to be lost if there are no overseas visitors this year
For Immediate Release, 8 September, 2020
PHUKET, THAILAND Phuket’s hotel industry is reaching breaking point and drastic economic support from the government is needed for it to survive the high season, urge industry leaders.
In the wake of the controversial “Phuket Model” international travel reopening scheme, reality is biting back as hotels in Thailand’s leading resort island are unable to sustain operating viability based on domestic tourism.
According to the Airports of Thailand (AOT), passenger arrivals at the aviation gateway have plunged 65% year-on-year from January through July of this year.
What is clear is that the 86,000 rooms in Phuket’s registered accommodation establishments cannot realistically break-even or even be cash-flow positive with only domestic demand. This realistically could set the scene for 50,000 job losses in the hotel sector this year if there’s no support forth coming or international visitors are not allowed in.
One of the green shoots is the Alternative Local State Quarantine (ALSQ) program, with over 60 island properties applying. While this program is meant to emulate the ASQ program in Bangkok, given there are no direct flights to Phuket, the government needs wider support of a return of international travelers at a local level and implement inter-ministerial coordination before it could materialize. But this may take months.
Anthony Lark, President of the Phuket Hotels Association that represents 78 hotels in Phuket said: “The math simply doesn’t work with single-digit occupancies being reported. No amount of induced local demand can prevent the dramatic continued loss of jobs and rapidly eroding financial crisis for owners and operators. We strongly advocate a safe, pragmatic, and strategic reopening for foreign travelers.”
With tourism being the lead economic indicator in Phuket data newly released by hospitality consulting group C9 Hotelworks reveals the Covid-19 impact on the hotel development pipeline with 69% of hotels now being delayed or put on hold. Looking at the economic consequences, at the end of 2019, there were 1,758 licensed accommodation establishments on the island and today incoming projects stand at 58 hotels, representing a 19% rise in supply with 16,476 additional rooms planned.
C9 Hotelworks Managing Director Bill Barnett said: “Thailand’s failure to relaunch overseas tourism creates a dangerously perilous scenario for Phuket’s hospitality industry. The domino financial impact is not only on hotels and the expanded tourism sector, but it suffocates the development pipeline. This will negatively trigger the erosion of jobs in construction, real estate, retail and ultimately be manifested in consumer credit defaults. The situation is bad, and likely to get worse, as operating hotels remain incur losses day in and day out.”
In terms of updating the Phuket hotel situation on the ground, there continues to be much controversy and a lack of national and local consensus over the proposed “Safe and Sealed’ sandbox long-stay program. While a stark warning was issued last week by the Bank of Thailand (BoT) over the potential disruption to the heavily tourism-dependent country, the fate of Phuket’s coming high season remains very challenged.
Citing a way forward C9’s Bill Barnett commented: “Any reopening plan must not only be well planned but has to win the hearts and minds of the Thai people to see any chance of success. While the island may hold the keys to the Kingdom in leading a restoration of tourism, but the more critical issue is how hotels can fight for their lives in the current state of limbo.”
Speaking about Phuket’s current situation Anthony Lark added: “Firstly, greater proactive dialogue between the public and private sector has to be undertaken. We can’t simply say we are now in unknown territory forever. Steps must be taken and a single voice formed.
“Secondly, the Bank of Thailand (BoT) has to look at interim measures to assist hotels with short-term operating bridge loans to weather the storm and retain jobs. Tourism is a human endeavor and without protecting and nurturing our Thai workforce there will be no recovery.”
For further information or high-resolution photography, please contact:
Phuket Hotels Association
E-mail: [email protected]
Phuket Hotels Association members are as follows:
Amanpuri, Anantara Layan Phuket Resort, Anantara Maikhao Phuket Villas, Anantara Vacation Club, Andara Resort & Villas, Angsana Laguna Phuket Resort, Banyan Tree Phuket, Boathouse by Montara, Burasari Resort, Cape Sienna, Centara Grand Beach Resort, Club Med Phuket, Dream Hotel & Spa, Dewa Phuket, Grand Mercure Phuket Patong, Hilton Phuket Arcadia, Holiday Inn Maikhao, Holiday Inn Resort Phuket, Patong, Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort, Impiana Resort Patong, JW Marriott Phuket, Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort, Maikhao Dream Villa Resort & Spa, Manathai Surin, Movenpick Resort Bangtao Beach, Novotel Phuket Kamala Beach, Novotel Phuket Karon Beach, Novotel Phuket Phokeethra, Novotel Phuket Surin Beach Resort, Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort, Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort & Villas, Paresa Resort, Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, COMO by Point Yamu, Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon, Pullman Panwa Beach Resort, Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa, Rosewood Phuket, Swissotel Resort Phuket Kamala, Swissotel Resort Phuket Patong Beach, Thanyapura, The Bell Pool Villa, The Nai Harn, The Pavilions, Phuket, The Slate, The Surin, The Village Coconut Island, The Westin Sirey Bay Resort & Spa Phuket, Trisara, Twinpalms Phuket.
Thailand’s tourism recovery hinged on tapping into 227 million strong domestic marketplace
Over 1,000 travel industry participants at Thailand Tourism Forum 2020 – Special Bangkok Edition – virtual online conference
TTF 2020 Bangkok-based speakers (from left): QUO CEO, David Keen; Rosewood Bangkok Director of Sales and Marketing, Leanne Reddie; Centara Hotels & Resorts CEO Thirayuth Chirathivat; IC Partners CEO, Charles Blocker; Hotel Intel Editor-in-Chief Wimintra Raj; Delivering Asia Communications CEO, David Johnson; and Horwath HTL Director-Thailand, Nikhom Jensiriratanakorn.
BANGKOK Thailand’s domestic-led tourism recovery was at the forefront of a virtual online event “TTF2020 – Special Bangkok Edition” today that tapped more than a 1,000 leading domestic and international travel and hotel industry participants.
Research from hospitality consulting group C9 Hotelworks and Delivering Asia Communications focused on domestic inter-Thailand visitor market whose size at more than 227 million in 2019 stole the limelight versus 39.8 million international visitors. This set the event stage for a compelling look into the pent-up demand of local travelers who are now being targeted by Thai hotels and tourism establishments.
In a series of random polls as part of C9 and Delivering Asia’s market insight held over the weekend in Bangkok, an assortment of Greater Bangkok residents that represent more than 15 million people in the expanded metropolitan area voiced a clear preference for less dense, more natural provincial destinations. Those most mentioned were the islands of Koh Chang and Koh Kood and mountain areas of Phetchabun, Nan, Pai and Mae Sot.
To view the special event video edition of Greater Bangkok residents talking about Thai domestic travel click.
TTF 2020 Bangkok Edition: keynote speaker Centara Hotels & Resorts CEO Thirayuth Chirathivat (right) interviewed by Delivering Asia Communications CEO, David Johnson.
Thailand domestic travel data by C9 Hotelworks and Delivering Asia Communications
In a key segment of the event by global hotel intelligence group STR, which zeroed in on the country’s gateway capital, Area Director – Asia Pacific Jesper Palmqvist said “as Thailand’s economic engine, Bangkok will need to lead by example coming out of the crisis and promote and enable the domestic business that exists. In hotel metrics, this will change the definition of what are ‘acceptable performance levels’ are.”
As to what lays ahead for hotels Palmqvist added “forget about hitting 2019 levels again anytime soon and instead focus on recalibrating what acceptable hotel trading levels are. There is a case to be made for either economy and midscale or luxury properties to emerge more efficiently. Though the question remains, with tighter traveler belts on the horizon, which class of hotel will represent the fastest route to longer term recovery?”
Summing up the takeaway points of TTF2020 – Special Bangkok Edition, C9’s Managing Director Bill Barnett said “while international tourism remains a work in progress that is highly leveraged on bilateral cross-border agreements and restoration of airlift, the near-term goal of hotels is to attract cash flow. Expect Thailand to take to the road in considerably greater numbers for the remainder of 2020 and the industry will have to fish where the fish as part of the recovery journey ahead.”
An impressive line-up of speakers for the event, organized by C9 Hotelworks and the American Chamber of Commerce Thailand, included Centara Hotels and Resorts CEO Thirayuth Chirathivat and key senior executives from JLL, Horwath HTL, QUO, TSI, STR, Agoda, IHG, HotelIntel and Rosewood Bangkok.
To download the full-length event video and presentations, visit this link.