Survey shows over half of Thai hotels are considering closing due to low demand

PHOTO: Flickr/hero baby

A survey conducted by the Bank of Thailand and the Thai Hotels Association shows that 52% of hotels are considering closing temporarily and 9% want to shut down for good. 62% plan to reduce their workforce costs as a result of the financial fallout from Covid-19, while 61% say they will cut expenditure elsewhere.

The Bangkok Post reports that the survey was carried out between August 13 – 28, with 234 hotel businesses participating. 14 of those are alternative state quarantine facilities, while 5 are hospitels. 38% of Phuket properties said the number of foreign tourists arriving on the island is lower than they expected. However, 35% said the numbers are what they anticipated. Average occupancy in Phuket since the start of the sandbox scheme has been around 15%.

In Surat Thani, where the Samui Plus re-opening scheme is now in operation, hotel operators say tourist numbers on Samui are lower than they expected and average occupancy is just 4%. Hotels are struggling with low incomes and 58% of properties say their takings are less than 10% of their pre-Covid income.

According to the president of the THA, average occupancy nationwide during the month of August was just 10.6%, only slightly higher than July’s 9.6%. Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi says 65% of hotels say their current liquidity means they will survive less than 3 months.

The Bangkok Post reports that the percentage of hotels operating in August increased from 40.1% in July to 48.4%, primarily in Bangkok and in Phuket. However, on Samui, the low tourist numbers have led to a call for the island’s re-opening rules to be relaxed. Foreign tourists arriving through the Samui Plus scheme are currently still required to stay at a quarantine hotel for the first 3 days, unlike the Phuket sandbox scheme.

To date, Samui has welcomed just 621 tourists through the scheme, while over 400 tourists who spent at least 7 days on Phuket have then travelled to Samui. Since the July 15 launch of the programme, 7,136 room nights have been booked for Samui Plus destinations and a further 8,335 room nights have been booked in advance.

By contrast, Phuket has had 176,128 room nights booked in August and 125,434 in September.

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SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.