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Desperate hotel operators look to Bangkok re-opening for signs of hope

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Prestige Online

Even with plans still up in the air and nothing confirmed, Thai hotel operators are pinning their hopes on Bangkok’s proposed re-opening next month. The president of the Thai Hotels Association says that while hotels don’t expect a huge uptake in bookings immediately, they are hopeful that average occupancy might reach 15 – 20% in the last 3 months of the year.

“The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on both business stability and the mentality of our workers over the past 18 months, as they don’t know when they can return to their jobs and earn a living. The re-opening plan is a beacon of hope for them.”

Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi admits that the situation is unpredictable, but hoteliers are anxious for a quarantine-free re-opening to go ahead for vaccinated tourists, as this is the only way to boost the hotel business in Bangkok. According to a Bangkok Post report, there are currently no SHA Plus accredited hotels in the capital, but Marisa says the application process has begun and most hotels can go ahead and enroll as they previously held SHA accreditation and most employees are now fully vaccinated.

The current entry requirements stipulate that all arrivals must stay in SHA Plus accommodation. The certification is issued to hotels where 70% of workers are fully vaccinated and where health and safety standards have been verified and approved.

In related news, Marisa says hotel operators want the government to resume the domestic travel subsidy schemes from October 10, so that travellers might book for the holiday period that falls in the second week of the month. Tourism minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, has previously said the schemes will be valid from October 15.

“If the hotel and tour subsidies can start on October 10, it will persuade more travellers to take long holiday trips that week, creating good momentum for hotels and accelerating hiring in the sector.”

For more information on how to get into Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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