Thai hotel chains unfazed by political uncertainty, anticipate revenue growth

Supporters of the Move Forward Party gather at Democracy Monument during a protest in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, July 19. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)

Despite the ongoing political uncertainty, Thailand’s major hotel chains remain optimistic, as long as the situation stays peaceful and avoids any violent unrest. Centara Hotels and Resorts (CHR) and Minor International Plc voiced their confidence in their ability to weather any potential political storms, providing the environment remains stable.

Gun Srisompong, the chief financial officer of CHR, stated that any form of violence could spark negative perceptions of Thailand, thereby affecting the confidence of foreign travellers. These sentiments are often further fuelled by warnings issued overseas to their citizens, he said. However, so far, CHR’s properties have not experienced any cancellations or slower bookings due to the political climate.

The company foresees its revenue this year to surpass that recorded in 2019, estimating a total income of 10.8 billion baht, driven by an upward trend in travel demand. Hotels in prime locations, including Thailand, reported occupancy rates of 78% and 60% for the first and second quarters of this year, respectively. However, Dubai triumphed with an 80% occupancy rate across both quarters.

Gun expressed hopes for the swift inauguration of a new government, which may roll out measures to bolster the industry, such as subsidising energy costs.

Meanwhile, Dillip Rajakarier, the group chief executive of Minor International Plc and chief executive of Minor Hotels, said that the tourism sector had previously shown resilience in rebounds from political unrest and even military coups in recent decades.

Reflecting on the robust booking growth over the recent weeks regardless of the tense domestic politics, geopolitical conflicts and inflation, Rajakarier, in an online conference organised by Bangkok Bank and Permata Bank, shared his view on how hotels can draw more tourists. ” The positive thing is that people love Thailand,” Rajakarier said. “We are still one of the top visited tourist destinations in the world.”

Rajakarier highlighted that as most political parties prioritise tourism, Thailand could potentially witness continued positive momentum throughout the year. His company currently runs more than 530 hotels in 56 countries under eight different brands.

In the first quarter of this year, the average daily rate of Minor International Plc’s properties abroad and Thai hotels exceeded that of 2019 by 24% and 14%. Meanwhile, average occupancy in Thailand reached 71% in the first half, reports Bangkok Post.

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Alex Morgan

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