Bangkok hotels prepare for price war

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BKK tourists mapWith tourism to the Thai capital severely hit due to the ongoing and partly violent street protests, hotels in Bangkok are ready for a price war to attract customers.

Many hotels in areas near anti-government demonstrations have launched promotions, especially discounts, to attract protesters participating in the “Bangkok shutdown”, to compensate for a significant drop in foreign tourists coming to the city.

Chanin Donavanik, the chief executive of the Thai hotel chain Dusit International, said the industry, particularly in Bangkok, cannot avoid a price war after political problems are solved. Dusit had expected average hotel room rates in Thailand to start increasing this year and that 2014 would be the best year for the hotel and tourism business since 2008.

Dusit accepts it will miss its 10 per cent revenue growth forecast this year because its major revenue-generating hotel, Dusit Thani Bangkok, has been affected by the political unrest.  As of last week, the hotel’s occupancy rate was only 20 per cent, compared with 80 per cent normally.

Supawan Tanomkieatipume, chairwoman for public relations at the Thai Hotels Association, who is also executive assistant manager of sales and marketing at the Twin Towers Hotel, said many hotel operators, especially near rally sites such as Pathumwan, had adjusted their business strategies by cutting costs as much as possible.

However, despite the woes of some Bangkok hotels, however, the country’s overall tourism industry has not suffered too badly since the shutdown started on Monday, the Tourism Authority of Thailand revealed. This is evidenced by a continuing flow of foreign arrivals, especially to major provinces.

In the first two weeks of January, foreign arrivals at Suvarnabhumi International Airport dropped by 2.58 per cent to 604,189 compared with the same period last year, but those at Don Meuang International Airport actually grew by 4.77 per cent to 71,907, thanks to low-cost carriers. In the period from January 1-12, foreign arrivals at Phuket International Airport also grew, by 12.06 per cent to 124,246 year on year.

While numbers of Chinese and Hong Kong visitors have dropped significantly, arrivals of Europeans and Russians are stable. However, there is no guarantee the latter trend will continue if the political conflict gets worse with the onset of violence between the anti- and pro-government sides.

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With tourism to the Thai capital severely hit due to the ongoing and partly violent street protests, hotels in Bangkok are ready for a price war to attract customers. Many hotels in areas near anti-government demonstrations have launched promotions, especially discounts, to attract protesters participating in the "Bangkok shutdown", to compensate for a significant drop in foreign tourists coming to the city. Chanin Donavanik, the chief executive of the Thai hotel chain Dusit International, said the industry, particularly in Bangkok, cannot avoid a price war after political problems are solved. Dusit had expected average hotel room rates in Thailand to...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

BKK tourists mapWith tourism to the Thai capital severely hit due to the ongoing and partly violent street protests, hotels in Bangkok are ready for a price war to attract customers.

Many hotels in areas near anti-government demonstrations have launched promotions, especially discounts, to attract protesters participating in the “Bangkok shutdown”, to compensate for a significant drop in foreign tourists coming to the city.

Chanin Donavanik, the chief executive of the Thai hotel chain Dusit International, said the industry, particularly in Bangkok, cannot avoid a price war after political problems are solved. Dusit had expected average hotel room rates in Thailand to start increasing this year and that 2014 would be the best year for the hotel and tourism business since 2008.

Dusit accepts it will miss its 10 per cent revenue growth forecast this year because its major revenue-generating hotel, Dusit Thani Bangkok, has been affected by the political unrest.  As of last week, the hotel’s occupancy rate was only 20 per cent, compared with 80 per cent normally.

Supawan Tanomkieatipume, chairwoman for public relations at the Thai Hotels Association, who is also executive assistant manager of sales and marketing at the Twin Towers Hotel, said many hotel operators, especially near rally sites such as Pathumwan, had adjusted their business strategies by cutting costs as much as possible.

However, despite the woes of some Bangkok hotels, however, the country’s overall tourism industry has not suffered too badly since the shutdown started on Monday, the Tourism Authority of Thailand revealed. This is evidenced by a continuing flow of foreign arrivals, especially to major provinces.

In the first two weeks of January, foreign arrivals at Suvarnabhumi International Airport dropped by 2.58 per cent to 604,189 compared with the same period last year, but those at Don Meuang International Airport actually grew by 4.77 per cent to 71,907, thanks to low-cost carriers. In the period from January 1-12, foreign arrivals at Phuket International Airport also grew, by 12.06 per cent to 124,246 year on year.

While numbers of Chinese and Hong Kong visitors have dropped significantly, arrivals of Europeans and Russians are stable. However, there is no guarantee the latter trend will continue if the political conflict gets worse with the onset of violence between the anti- and pro-government sides.

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