PHUKET HOTEL UPDATE Bangkok Flood Impact
Bangkok's floods have become a frequent banner news story in the international print, broadcast news and digital media for the past week.
Photos of crocodiles swimming freely in the sois and that Thai Airways jumbo jet surrounded by water at Don Mueang have created the impression that the entire country is in distress.
Today we spoke to a some of the island's leading hotels for a "boots on the ground" update on how the natural disaster in the nation's capital is impacting tourism here in Phuket.
Jason Nuell, General Manager of the Renaissance Resort in Mai Khao said "We don't have major cancellations so far due to location. The bookings cancellations we've received are mainly the result from the travel warning issued from the government organization in their country. However, our high season pick up looks healthy, even though the pickup trend has delay a bit since the floods, comparing to last year we are doing well in general."
Sean Raine, General Manager of the Westin Siray Bay Resort weighed in with "Some people are taking a wait and see approach with regard to the flooding in Bangkok so the pickup in bookings has slowed, however with the high season approaching we are hoping bookings return to normal quickly. It is our first full high season since opening in August 2010 so we are optimistic and looking forward to a busy high season in Phuket."
While Banyan Trees Director of Sales and Marketing Adrian Croft commented "So far October has surpassed last year and will finish with a good year on year growth, the month impacted really is only November. Pick up slowed last week by about 50% but we are hopeful that will turn around this week. The peak period has been slower to pick up out of Europe than expected however pick up has remained slower than 2010 for almost all months year to date. Many of the cancellations to date are due to the blanket travel warnings over all of Thailand by various foreign governments."
Andrew Turner – GM of Anantara updated with " Overall we have not seen a great number of cancelations for the 3 months ahead. We are forecasting a strong November well up on last years numbers. The pick up while slower has still continued for the 3 months ahead."
As for the estate agents on the island seeing temporary relocations from Bangkok to Phuket, Andrew Craig of Phuket Villas and Homes noted "only a few bookings have come in and the number is in single digits."
So there you have it. As in days past the shotgun approach of travel warnings raise their ugly head again but the impact is at least dampened by an early rise into high season.
For those not here, flights are operating without disruptions, travelers are going to and fro from Bangkok, offices are open and there is no reported major supply shortages. In a nutshell its business as usual.
I've yet to spot any stray crocodiles outside my office but a gekko did just run up a nearby coconut tree.