Last year, hotels in Bangkok suffered from political unrest with hotel occupancy being down almost whole Q1 of 2014. The latest Thailand Tourism Forum that gathered industry professionals from all over the world, however, showed that industry professionals are optimistic about recovery of tourism industry in Thailand.
According to experts, tourism in Thailand will be geared up mostly by visitors from China, who visit the country more actively. They will be followed by tourists from India, Brazil, Russia, and Turkey, who also find this destination increasingly attractive, but still tourists from Asia remain a dominating force.
The impact of political unrest in Bangkok had visible impact on tourist arrivals to the country. In February, the decline of international visits to the country estimated 4.1%, and in March the trend remained and the decline estimated 9.39%. The decline in tourist arrivals contrasted with positive growth of Thailand’s neighbour countries, where the growth of occupancy estimated, on average, 2% - 5%. Hotels in Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia posted positive results for first two months of 2014.
As decline in occupancy of hotels in Bangkok was impressive, we can assume that the bounce back will be equally high. In January, the occupancy of hotels in Bangkok dropped by 26% comparing to January 2013, and in February it was 37% less than during the same period of 2013. This had very little impact on room rates across the country with average room rates losing only 2% in January and February, and gaining 2.7% in following months. During the protest period, the occupancy of hotels in Bangkok was only 35%. In April it was already in the mid-40% range and still growing. This is not the first time the country faces problems of this kind, so experts foresee quick return to pre-protest period.