Thai hotels feel squeeze

Thai Hotels Association (THA) Vice President Prakit Chinamourpong said hotels in most regions were running at lower occupancy rates than in the same period last year. The Nation said that Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Phornsiri Manoharn had reported a 3.3% increase in tourist arrivals in the first half of the year.

The lower hotel-occupancy rates, she said, are simply because there are more hotels and not fewer tourists. THA figures show that the average occupancy rate for small hotels in Bangkok last month was 70%, down from 78% in August 2006. For big hotels, last month’s rate was 71%, down from 77% last year, the report said. The occupancy rate for hotels in Hua Hin and Cha-am fell from 50% in August 2006 to 45% last month. In the Northeast, the figure dropped 20% from 50-60% occupancy in August 2006.

At Pattaya’s hotels, the average occupancy rate last month was 56%, down from 68% in August 2006.

However, hotels in Phuket and Khao Lak showed an increase of 10-20% to reach 40% last month due mainly to the recovery of tourism along the Andaman Coast, the report said. The THA said listed political unrest, currency fluctuations and fears of more bombs in Bangkok and other major tourist destinations as the main factors contributing to the decline. In reporting the figures to the TAT, the association urged the authority to rebuild the industry

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