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

Maya Taylor

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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.

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

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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