100% recovery predicted for Thailand’s hospitality sector

Photo courtesy of The Nation

In an exclusive interview, Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, the Thai Hotel Association (THA) President, shared her optimism about Thailand‘s tourism prospects, predicting a remarkable comeback from the pandemic’s impact by the latter half of 2024.

“2023 saw Thai hotels at a 60% occupancy rate, down from the pre-Covid glory of 75% in 2019. However, with more flights to Thailand and a recovering global economy, the hotel industry is poised for a steady recovery. We could witness a triumphant return to the pre-Covid peak by the end of 2024.”

Marisa highlighted Phuket as the jewel in Thailand’s tourism crown during the ongoing high season from November last year to March 2024. The surge in tourist arrivals, she attributed to direct overseas flights to the island and visa-free entry for visitors from China, India, Kazakhstan, and Taiwan. Additionally, Russian nationals now enjoy an extended visa-free stay from 30 to 90 days.

Discussing other popular destinations, Marisa revealed Pattaya’s shift in focus from Chinese to Indian tourists, while Hua Hin experienced an uptick in European guests, especially from Germany and Scandinavian countries.

“Bangkok is enjoying robust occupancy rates, especially during the new year holiday season, with most guests being independent travellers from China.”

Suwanna Buddhaprasart, CEO of LH Mall & Hotel Co Ltd, echoed Marisa’s sentiments, emphasising the positive trajectory in Thailand’s tourism and hotel sectors as airlines resume operations. She highlighted the need for expanding the country’s logistics and infrastructure to accommodate the anticipated growth.

“The government must play a pivotal role in making the country more tourist-friendly to support the industry.”

Amid this tourism renaissance, the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) called upon the government to invest in marketing, urging the allocation of a budget for a private sector-led campaign. ATTA President Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn stressed the readiness of the private sector to spearhead marketing efforts but emphasized the necessity of government support, reported The Nation.

The Thai government sets a bold target of achieving 3.5 trillion baht in tourism revenue in 2024, aiming for 1 trillion baht from the domestic market and a whopping 2.5 trillion baht from overseas markets. While experts express confidence in the industry’s potential, they stress the need for collaboration and support to turn these ambitious goals into reality.

Bangkok NewsThailand NewsTourism News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

Related Articles