There is the possibility that hoteliers in Thailand will increase their room rates next year, it has been reported. The Bangkok Post recently highlighted predictions made by US firm Starwood Hotels and Resorts, which anticipates the cost of staying in a Thai hotel to rise by up to 20 per cent in 2012. According to the company, this is because accommodation charges are much higher in neighbouring nations, while Thailand's hotel sector has not boosted prices substantially since 2008.
Vice-president for the organisation in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam Wayne Buckingham told the publication there is a big gap between rates in Thailand and elsewhere in south-east Asia. "Average hotel room rates in Bangkok are lower than in Singapore and Hong Kong by 25 to 30 per cent. In the past few years, many Bangkok hotels have maintained their rates, while some have even slashed prices to attract foreign tourists to survive the bad times," he asserted.
Mr Buckingham added hotels with a "good product" to offer may be able to hike room rates, while those that do not provide the same standards might not be in a position to increase charges so substantially. Two Thai locations featured in a list of the least-expensive Asian destinations as part of the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index for the first half of 2011. Pattaya and Chiang Mai were included in the table at numbers six and nine respectively, despite the average daily rate for hotels in Chiang Mai rising by 17 per cent, compared to the first six months of 2010.
However, it may take a little longer before the predicted price hikes take effect, if Thai hoteliers listen to the pleas of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Surapol Svetaseni. At the beginning of December, he told the Bangkok Post the organisation had requested that hoteliers and tour operators hold their prices to ensure they remain competitive. Mr Surapol stressed the TAT is working on marketing campaigns focusing on room rates, with one aim to point out the price of a five-star hotel in Thailand is the same as a three or four-star establishment in neighbouring nations.
- Friday 16 December 2011