Tourism Operators Worried Over Response to Long Weekend

Tour operators are pessimistic about local travelers’ lukewarm response to this weekend’s four-day holiday after the economic downturn affected people’s travel decisions.

According to the president of the Thai Hotels Association’s eastern chapter, economic concerns such as the rise in fuel prices and consumer goods have influenced potential domestic tourists.

Locals already spent their reduced budgets during the Songkran and Labor Day celebrations, so a weaker domestic market is expected, Phisut said. In Pattaya, hotel occupancy remains at 60%.

However, tour operators are banking on international tourists’ gradual return to support their business as there are positive signs of increasing foreign arrivals, mainly from Malaysia, Vietnam, and India.

Phisut insisted that Pattaya could attract more international travelers if the government categorized Covid-19 as endemic and authorized nightspots’ reopening.

The occupancy rate in Hua Hin-Cha Am also hovered around 60% this weekend.

Hua Hin-Cha Am Tourism Association’s president Wassana Srikkanchana said the occupancy rate among small and medium-sized hoteliers had been lower than usual since local families have reduced their expenses anticipating the new school semester. Thai households have been more strict with their budgets due to the increasing living costs and reduced purchasing power.

Only four- and five-star hotels reported occupancy rates above 80%, Ms. Wassana added. She called on the government to launch a travel stimulus campaign to help smaller hotels make more profit.

Meanwhile, the Hua Hin-Cha Am Tourism Association plans to organize an event with the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce to create a tourism exchange.

Krabi also reported a 50-60% occupancy rate during the first half of May. Tourism Council of Krabi’s president Charintip Tiyaphorn said the long vacations and benefits of the “We Travel Together” subsidy campaign have benefited the local tourism industry.

However, the outlook for the tourism business after the second half of May remains hazy as local market bookings are expected to fall.

While bookings from foreign arrivals have improved compared to the same period in 2021, the numbers have not increased significantly. Hotel operators have to wait for last-minute bookings to see if the figures are higher, Ms. Charintip added.