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Thai hotels consider temporary shutdown amid low tourist demand



PHOTO: Russell Davies / Flickr

The president of the Thai Hotels Association says many properties are considering shutting down for the low season as a result of the Covid-19 resurgence. Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi says smaller hotels that don’t necessarily have the resources of the large chain properties are struggling with cash flow and crippled by low tourist demand. Many are considering shutting up shop between April and October or until demand resumes.

In a Bangkok Post report, the THA chief says April’s occupancy rates are expected to plummet to single digits, as happened in January during the second wave of the virus. She adds that the level of business in the last 2 weeks of the month will determine whether or not many will close. There are now just 400,000 working in the hotel industry, a huge drop compared to just a few years ago.

Marisa says just how bad everything gets, including the number of people laid off, will depend on how quickly the government can control the virus. She says vaccines are the key to reviving the decimated tourism sector, thereby boosting the economy and increasing tourist confidence.

“The government has to speed up vaccines for people employed in tourism, especially hotel staff, and those working in hospitals serving non-critical or asymptomatic patients, alternative state and state quarantines.”

Last month, the THA conducted a survey of 128 hotels which showed that most had still not experienced any financial recovery, particularly in the south of the country. At least 50% have not even achieved 10% of their pre-Covid revenue. Up to 40% of hotels have had to make staff redundant, while others continue to implement policies such as leave-without-pay (77%), mandatory holiday leave (76%), pay cuts (71%), changes to working schedules, (69%), reduced hours (56%), as well as invoking section 75 of the Labour Protection Act to pay 75% of a worker’s salary (20%).

A tiny minority (6%) of 5-star hotels in the southern provinces of Phang Nga and Surat Thani experienced improved occupancy and were able to hire additonal staff. However, the vast majority of properties saw their liquidity in March drop by 20% from February and many can only afford to continue operating for another 3 months. The THA boss is calling on the government to provide a monthly co-payment scheme or a debt holiday, as well as more stimulus packages to boost tourist demand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Big Money

    Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    Sorry but, all the rich tourists are at mr. Anutin’s golf resorts?

  2. luca

    Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    the choice of the dictator’s government to rely on the dictator of China is proving to be a catastrophe for many Thais, I remember a minister of this government who defined western tourists as dirty and smelly, today we know that in China they made a very bad vaccine and administration to one and a half billion people it will take years, it means that even if Thailand manages to vaccinate its population with the vaccines of the dirty farangs, however, it will not see Chinese tourists return, the tourism industry in Thailand is about to die and maybe they will be the dirty farang to save her

  3. TS

    Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    hey!thai hotels association. what happened to your generous ‘hospihotel’ scheme/proposal mentioned a few days ago? No takers or just shot down by your overlords?

  4. Jeusus Monroe

    Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 5:59 pm

    400,000 still employed………really……..There aint a shitload of tourists coming even when Thailands vaccinated…….it will take years…… in the meantime skill up bitches on youtube and get creative…….laziness won’t cut it anymore……..

  5. Sanuk

    Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    The funny thing is if you check Agoda, hotel rates aren’t down all that much. Which is odd considering how desperate they are for guests. Tells me the moment things get better and tourists start returning even in small numbers they’ll jack the hotel rates up and screw over the little tourists there are. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

  6. Joe Nyomozo

    Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 12:01 am

    Thai hotels and insurance (like AXA that advertises on the Thai Embassy web site) refuse to give you a refund if you are unable to go because of Thai Embassy incompetence, cancelled flights etc. So I am not very sympathetic!

  7. James R

    Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 12:32 am

    This is probably the case for most counties which have huge numbers of tourists each year, the UK has 40 million, about the same as Thailand each year

    But we in the UK are not seeing any at the ,moment we won’t until we have all been vaccinate which will be in the next few months as we have vaccinated over 30 million people already and the tourists who come have been vaccinated or from a virus free country.

    It will take time for all countries to see tourists again.

    In the case of Thailand the vaccination rate is painfully slow, so they will be behind many other countries opening again to tourists, the countries who had the foresight to order the vaccines six months or more ago and have not left it until recently to order them will open first.

  8. toby andrews

    Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    Those Thai hotels that did not give refunds because airlines were not allowed to fly guests in, will be punished for their greedy attitude.
    They await the tourists return, but will they return to their hotels? I hope not.
    Some people have long memories.

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