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Two Patong Tuk Tuk drivers surrender after a shooting in Patong, Phuket

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Two Patong Tuk Tuk drivers surrender after a shooting in Patong, Phuket | The Thaiger

Two Tuk Tuk drivers have surrendered after a Patong entertainment staff member was shot and killed early yesterday. Patong police were notified of the incident at 4am Sunday morning in Soi Patong Tower off Taweewong Road (the beach road).

Police and emergency responders arrived to find the body of a man who was identified as 45 year old Panya Kingjampa, a staff member at an entertainment venue. Blood was found on the ground where his body was laying. His body was taken to Patong Hospital. Doctors found bullets in his stomach during the examination.

Last evening two suspects surrendered themselves at the Patong Police Station handing in a handgun at the time. They are facing charges of assault eventuating in death.

The suspects have allegedly told police that they tried to stop Mr Panya from trying to steal property from a tourist. More information when it comes to hand.

Two Patong Tuk Tuk drivers surrender after a shooting in Patong, Phuket | News by The Thaiger Two Patong Tuk Tuk drivers surrender after a shooting in Patong, Phuket | News by The Thaiger Two Patong Tuk Tuk drivers surrender after a shooting in Patong, Phuket | News by The Thaiger



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Patong

Digging into the Phuket hotel data

Bill Barnett

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Digging into the Phuket hotel data | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett, c9hotelworks

As Phuket’s hotel operators and owners face a disruptive 2019, we thought it was time to do a deep dig into the island’s accommodation performance metrics.

Global hospitality data and analytics group STR was the logical resource, so we spoke to their Area Director Asia Pacific, Jesper Palmqvist. The following are key takeaways from the highly focused look at Thailand and Phuket’s hotel sector:

To set the stage for the declining numbers this year it’s important to cast an eye backward into 2018 and understand the first quarter of 2018 for Thailand including Phuket well eclipsed the previous two years. Call it a high water mark, but it’s important to understand the benchmark was set exceedingly high.

For Mainland Chinese arrivals into the country 2017 by percentage topped a three-year trend (2016-2018) and in fact if for the first four months of this year, 2019 is above the same period is 2017.

By now, you have to be wondering what this all means?  In a nutshell, one could say that perhaps market expectations from 2018 have created unrealistic expectations and that after a long night of binge drinking, the current hangover is somewhat self-imposed.

Still, Mainland Chinese as of the first four months of this year, represents 40% of the international market, with Russia at 12% and 5% for Australia. On the airlift front yes, three airlines have ceased service but five more have entered the fray.

Digging into the Phuket hotel data | News by The Thaiger

As we have written in our new Phuket Hotel Market Update Mid-Year Edition, RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) for the high-performance months of January through April 2019 was down 12%, but again be reminded this is a year-on-year comparison against the epic 2018 uptick.

What has to cause concern though and is a tell-tale sign of a slowdown is that over a 12-month period the market has registered a consistent pattern of lower demand. That reality is now a fact, and one hoteliers are  now coming to grips with.

Another question mark was performance in May this year which despite being a traditional low-period, was even more pronounced. Is this the new normal, with a return to more seasonal trading swings or just a blip in trading? Only time will tell.

One interesting takeaway is that softening rates market-wide have largely followed demand drop but for properties outside Patong the rate swing has generally been more significant. On a seasonal scale, Phuket hotels in the three months of December through February have over the past five year even able to gain high rates, particularity in periods when occupancy hits 80% an above, hotels have been able to cash in.

The summer months of July and August this year are capturing everyones interest and while demand is expected to rise, it will be hard for rates to recover.

One of STR’s key comparisons is to Phuket’s symbiotic resort cousin Bali. The Island of the Gods has seen occupancy move upward the past few years after a period of tremendous new supply growth. There is only a 2% occupancy difference presently. If you go back three years, Bali trailed by 13% lower occupancy so there is little doubt that Southeast Asia is a more competitive landscape.

Looking into the crystal ball there are signs of tourism markets across the region softening in 2019. Where are the opportunities? Source markets like India, MICE and niche segments and the shoulder season. Though there is growing apprehension what October will bring, operators and owners need to understand the need for improved management and sales and marketing strategies in the year ahead.

Digging into the Phuket hotel data | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket accommodation pipeline – 55 new hotels under development

Bill Barnett

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Phuket accommodation pipeline – 55 new hotels under development | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett from c9hotelworks.com

PHOTO: Horizon Beach Resort Hotels Phuket

One of Asia’s leading resort destinations Phuket looks set to weather a perfect storm as soaring hotel supply is forecast to be challenged by declining tourism demand. New research from consulting group C9 Hotelworks in their Phuket Hotel Market Update Mid-Year Edition has revealed an island development pipeline of 15,348 keys set to enter the market over the next five years, which represents an 18% push in total supply.

During the first four months of 2019 which is ranked as high season, year-on-year international passenger arrivals at Phuket International Airport slipped by 3%, while the domestic segment was down 6%. Looking into the data, the first half of 2018 had been a record-setting tourism period, as the succeeding six months experienced a sharp decline due to the retraction of the Mainland China market.

Mainland China remains at the forefront of any discussion about Phuket and the segment remains volatile with a 19% decrease registered this year from January through May. Russian arrivals have yet to fully recover. On the upside, fast-growing Indian arrivals tripled their tourism trajectory during the same period, versus 2018.

Hotel performance has mirrored the current trend, according to STR data this reflects a 12% retraction of RevPAR (revenue per available room), driven largely by lower market-wide occupancy. While May and September are the two lowest months for Phuket hotels, July and August are projected to experience a boosts in occupancy. But the reality remains that non-high season attracts significantly lower room rates and this factor will undoubtedly suppress overall rate growth during the year.

The C9 Hotelworks report also highlights the growing influence of hotel branded residences on the Phuket accommodation market. Over 50% of the incoming pipeline, or 8,337 units, are being developed.  Majority of these products are condominium properties with many being affiliated to international hotel groups via management or franchise agreements. Despite the drop in Chinese tourists, a number of Mainland real estate conglomerates have entered the island property sector.

Summarising, Phuket’s forecasted tourism market conditions, C9 Hotelworks view is that with the development of the new Greater Phuket airport by AoT in Southern Phang Nga, the long- term forecast remains positive. It’s probable that current hotel sector will experience a similar cycle that Bali saw between 2014-2018 and that new supply will eventually be absorbed on a medium-term basis, but in the shorter term, demand remains a key risk factor impacting operators and owners.

To read and download C9 Hotelworks full report click HERE.

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Business

Entertainment venues in Phuket call for postponement in new excise tax

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Entertainment venues in Phuket call for postponement in new excise tax | The Thaiger

Entertainment venue operators in Patong, Phuket, are calling on the Excise Department to indefinitely postpone a proposed 11% levy on their businesses, saying the tourism business is bad enough already without any additional government tax grabs.

Entertainment and other businesses on the island have been reporting anecdotal drops in their business between 20-50% this low-season, compared to last year.

The call was made during a meeting on Thursday evening between Area 8 Excise Officials and the entertainment venue operators at the Baumanburi Hotel in Patong.

The Nation reports that Wasin Sitalarom, Phuket’s chief excise officer, and Suree Srisuk, director of the excise office of Area 8, briefed owners on the excise tax proposal.

The officials said the excise law, which was enacted in 1992, has a new provision that has been enforced since September 2017 that requires the Excise Department to levy excise tax on entertainment places at the rate of 11% per year on their revenue.

The officials say the owners of the entertainment places must register their businesses with the department and pay the excise taxes or face fines and additional interest of 7.5% per year.

But the operators of pubs and other entertainment venues argued that they are already paying taxes at the rate of 7% on their revenue. The meeting ended without any resolution. The officials will inform their department of the objections before answering the operators.

Entertainment venues around Thailand are mostly cash business so any attempt levies on income would be open to abuse.

SOURCE: The Nation

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