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Thai Airways says it won’t get into a price-war with other airlines

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thai Airways says it won’t get into a price-war with other airlines | The Thaiger

PHOTO: YouTube

National carrier Thai Airways says it won’t head down the ‘price-cutting’ route to be competitive in 2020. The struggling airline says, instead, they will focus on building a solid customer base and tap specific route segments.

Airline president Sumeth Damrongchaitham says the carrier will continue to recruit stronger marketing partners and estimated that the aviation industry would continue to experience intense competition next year.

“Thai Airways will continue with its transformation plan next year, which includes focusing on earning ancillary revenue, creating satisfactory customer experiences and effective human resource management.”

Thai Airways says they will continue to cooperate with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to work on strategic marketing campaigns in order to boost in-bound tourism and increase national revenue.

“Currently several negative factors were impacting the aviation industry and affecting business operations, which had caused several airlines to cease operations. Airlines are incurring losses as a result of the world economic situation, the aggressive and intense competition, technological disruption and political unrest across the globe. THAI was also affected by the continually strengthening baht.”

Thai Airways, and its subsidiaries, reported a net loss of 4.680 billion baht for Q3, a total of over 11 billion baht for the year so far.

“Thai Airways has continued to implement cost cutting measures, such as postponement of unnecessary investments, work reprocessing to reduce expenditure and improve work quality, as well as reduction in employee benefits of management and staff.”

SOURCE: The Nation

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Business

“Phuket’s economy is shrinking” – University report

Greeley Pulitzer

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“Phuket’s economy is shrinking” – University report | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Rocket Bird Travel Company

“Phuket’s economy is shrinking.”

A report released by the local Prince of Songkla University reveals some disturbing trends for the once-booming tropical paradise. Chayanon Phucharoen, the university’s associate dean of research and graduate study says that Phuket’s economy is undergoing a transformation. He blames the strong Thai baht and says digital disruption is funnelling tourist services and income toward online platforms controlled by outsiders, instead of the income going into local pockets.

Strong competition by the many new hotels and accommodation-sharing apps is pushing down prices across the island. Most of the new hotel rooms and tour destinations over the past five years are outside of the traditional favourite, Patong.

“Other factors included beaches degraded by pollution and poor road safety.”

Chayanon cited a survey by the Bank of Thailand showing a drop in the number of Phuket tourism operators, despite rising arrivals. The last two decades have seen an average growth in tourism numbers but this year the numbers have cooled off with a growth of only 4% and a swing in tourist demographics and preferred areas of the island to visit.

One of the biggest losers is Patong where the popular party town has been slow to adapt to the changing tourist mix. The report says that tourists are now sick of being ripped off by tuk tuks, touts and scams.

“Phuket needs to to create new tourism experiences instead of relying on its reputation for ‘sea, sand and sun. The sector can be improved in many ways, such as offering new experiences like cultural activities.”

“This would not only increase tourist numbers but also better disperse tourists, and tourism revenue, throughout the island.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Business

Tesco to sell assets in Thailand and Malaysia

Greeley Pulitzer

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Tesco to sell assets in Thailand and Malaysia | The Thaiger

Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket chain, has announced it may sell off its businesses in Thailand and Malaysia. A statement says that “following inbound interest, it has commenced a review of the strategic options for its businesses in Thailand and Malaysia, including an evaluation of a possible sale of these businesses.”

In other words, they want to sell.

“The evaluation of strategic options is at an early stage, no decisions concerning the future of Tesco Thailand or Malaysia have been taken, and there can be no assurance that any transaction will be concluded.”

In other words, they’re arguing over the price.

Dow Jones reported that the deal could be worth as much as nine billion dollars (273 billion baht). Tesco declined to comment on the valuation.

Tesco, branded as Tesco Lotus in Thailand, launched in 1998 and has 1,967 stores. The Malaysian business started in 2002 and has 74 stores.

The Thai business alone could be valued at nearly $7 billion (212 billion baht) because it includes real estate assets, according to Dow Jones. In the first half of fiscal year 2020, Tesco’s entire Asia business produced 2.6 billion pounds (103 billion baht) in revenue, or about 8% of total sales.

Tesco has already cut thousands of job and pulled back from some international markets, including Japan, the US and China. The new CEO will face a growing UK retail crisis made worse by Brexit, the shift to online shopping and competition from discount .

If Tesco leaves Thailand and Malaysia, its only overseas operations, will be Ireland and its loss-making central European division with stores in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Hotel association wants rules on short-term rentals, home sharing

Greeley Pulitzer

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Hotel association wants rules on short-term rentals, home sharing | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Airbnb and other accommodation-share businesses, plus a glut of newly opened hotels rooms across the country, is putting pressure on the traditional hotel model

The Thai Hotels Association has again asked for a meeting with the Minister of the Interior to discuss the impact of short-term rentals and home sharing services like Airbnb on the domestic hotel business. The Assoication’s president Supawan Tanomkieatipume reminds him Thai law officially doesn’t, technically, allow owners of condos to rent out their units for less than 30 days without a hotel licence.

But he acknowledges that the practice is widespread and almost impossible to police.

“THA has no intention of seeking a ban on these services in Thailand. We just want the government to issue suitable regulations on the operations of these service providers, and enforce related laws to protect customers.”

Supawan acknowledges that the tourist numbers are still reaching almost last year’s levels but says that the both accommodation-sharing services and a surfeit of new hotel rooms available is cutting into his members’ bottom-lines.

His solution would make owners offering short-term rentals and home sharing services be required to register with the Ministry and apply for a business licence, the same as for hotel operators, and display their licence numbers when advertising.

THA also wants to count them in the total number of hotel operators, so the government can design measures to promote hotels based on the actual number of businesses in the market.

“A preliminary survey by THA shows that there are over 21,000 providers of accommodations not listed as hotels scattered around Bangkok and tourist cities. Without knowing the actual number of competitors, hotel entrepreneurs face the risk of room oversupply.”

Statistics published by Airbnb earlier this year showed that home sharing generated more than 33.8 billion baht to property owners and the surrounding communities.

SOURCE: The Nation

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