BANGKOK – Phuket has had a long-term reputation as the Pearl of the Andaman however lately the popular tourism destination in southern Thailand, is struggling against a host of unfavorable factors.
Over the past few months the rising Thai Baht and the drop in Chinese tourism has created a significant effect on Phuket’s Hotel and tourism industry.
Chines tourism on the island is still haunted by the deadly Phoenix boat accident last year that saw the death of 47 Chinese tourists.
According to The Thaiger, European tour companies have been forced to raise their local prices anywhere between 10-20% meaning that many Europeans were looking to travel elsewhere for value.
Those who are coming to Thailand are being more careful about their spending as they are receiving less baht when they exchange their currency.
Hotel room rates in Phuket dropped significantly in the first half of this year, and are likely to face the dark clouds in the rainy season.
Hotel oversupply on the island is a key concern. There are 93,941 hotel rooms available around the island, excluding villas and hostels.
As long as supply grows faster than demand, it will be hard for Hotel operators to raise the daily rates.
Never Been a Better Time to Visit Phuket
Hotels and accommodations in Phuket have lowered daily room rates in hopes of attracting Thai tourists and an emerging Indian Tourist market.
“Room rates offered to the Indian market are not as high as for the Chinese seeing the average room rate drop by nearly 18%.” According to Suksit Suvunditkul vice-president of the Thai Hotels Association’s southern chapter.
“Guests can stay at five-star hotels for only 3,000 baht,” he said. “We also expect a stagnant room rate for the rainy season in the third quarter before the situation improves during the high season at the end of the year.”
Meanwhile, Aswin Yangkirativorn, chief executive of Thai Lion Air (TLA), said they are pinning hopes on the family segment to boost the market during the school break in July and August.
After international arrivals in Phuket declined by 1.8% in the first half, one remaining positive sign for the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is that overall revenue in the period still rose by 3.1% to 200.2 billion baht.
Source: Bangkok Post, Thaiger