Pattaya hotel sector booms
Pattaya, the resort town on Thailand’s eastern seaboard, is on track to reach more than eight million hotel guests in 2012 – a new record for the destination.
According to C9 Hotelworks’ latest ‘Pattaya Hotel Market Update’, the 9% increase in hotel occupancy seen in the town last year is continuing in 2012, as an increase in branded hotel supply creates greater demand. Chain-operated properties achieved an average occupancy rate of 74% in 2011 – 8% higher than non-branded hotels.
C9’s Managing Director Bill Barnett commented; “With the geographic shift away from long-haul tourists to the Asian and domestic segments, key demand generators such as large-scale retail, tourist attractions and a rising resort residential market has fueled positive sentiment.”
Barnett cited the recently-opened Centara’s Grand Mirage Resort as an example of Pattaya’s new family- and couple-friendly accommodation focus. But Centara’s Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Chris Bailey said there is still room in the market for plenty of product differentiation.
“With three [Centara] operating properties in Pattaya and three more in the pipeline, there are parallel opportunities in two distinct market segments,” said Bailey. “For those wishing for more value-driven offerings, customers want quality accommodation but not an extensive range of facilities. For them Pattaya as the destination is the main attraction.”
Looking forward, C9 said that major investments in theme parks in the Pattaya area would further broaden the destination’s appeal.
Pattaya currently has 49,348 hotel rooms, many of which are less than three years old. Between 2009 and 2010 the town’s inventory surged 28%. While this pace of development has slowed, Pattaya still has 1,779 more rooms in the pipeline, equating to a further 4% increase.
“Comparing Pattaya to other resorts in the country such as Phuket, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui, the former has less pronounced seasonality which results in mitigating volatility. Currently supply and demand remain balanced as limited prime land availability points to a future regime of hotel redevelopment versus new build properties,” Barnett noted.