Bangkok hotels ‘MICE’ their way back to pre-pandemic occupancy levels

Photo courtesy of The Most Perfect View

Bangkok hotel occupancy rates in the first quarter of 2024 have nearly hit pre-pandemic levels, driven largely by a surge in meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) travellers.

Tanakorn Thanuthanud, manager of the valuation and advisory services department at Colliers Thailand, revealed the exciting news.

“The resumption of international events in Bangkok attracted more tourists to the city. Fan meetings and concerts have made a spectacular return to various venues.”

Colliers’ data shows that hotel occupancy rates in Bangkok soared to 80.7% in the first quarter of 2024, marking a significant recovery close to 2019 levels, with potential for further growth. This is a marked improvement from last year’s 76.7% and a far cry from the 13% recorded in 2021.

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A major factor behind this recovery is the resurgence of Chinese tourists, who accounted for 2.35 million arrivals from January to April, representing 19.4% of total arrivals. Malaysians followed at 13%, with Russians at 6.3%, Koreans at 5.6%, and Indians at 5.3%.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry reported a total of 12.1 million tourist arrivals in the first four months of 2024. Although this is slightly lower than the peak of 14 million during the same period in 2019, it surpasses the 12 million recorded in 2017.

Colliers also highlighted the increasing average daily rates (ADR) across all hotel segments. The overall ADR rose to 4,150 baht, a 1 to 2% increase from the previous quarter. The luxury segment saw an ADR of 6,650 baht, while the upscale and midscale segments recorded ADRs of 3,600 baht and 2,200 baht, respectively.

“The upscale sector performed well post-pandemic, whereas the midscale and economy sectors had limited recovery due to price competition.”

Tanakorn mentioned that backpackers have more affordable options like shared accommodations and long-term travel choices.

Looking ahead, Bangkok’s hotel market is set to expand further with an additional 10,000 rooms expected over the next two years, over half of which will be in the upscale segment, reported Bangkok Post.

In the luxury segment, notable openings in 2024 include 52 keys at Aman Nai Lert Bangkok, 244 keys at Andaz One Bangkok, and 259 keys at The Ritz-Carlton, Bangkok, all located on Wireless Road.

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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.

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