The potential of the hotel industry
The low cost of living in Thailand, especially when compared to some of the other countries in the Asia Pacific, gives the Thai tourism and hospitality industry an advantage in terms of value for money for foreign visitors. As the demand from both international and domestic tourists grows, so does the capacity of the Thai hotel businesses. In recent years, tourists have been spending more on hotel accommodation in Thailand. Furthermore, the confidence index for hotel operators in Thailand also scored better in the third quarter of 2020. This implied that hotel operators had more optimism on the prospects of the tourism and hospitality industry in Thailand when compared to the same period of the previous year, despite still dealing with the COVID 19 pandemic.
The expansion of hotels
The hotel industry in Thailand is always improving its capacity to meet the demands of its visitors. Since 2017, hotels in Thailand had increased the number of rooms for guests and was projected to have around 785 thousand rooms by 2020. In terms of the occupancy rate in Thailand, hotels in the southern region proved to be in high demand as its occupancy rate accounted for around 71 percent in the previous year. Thus, this called for an expansion of hotels in that region, leading to almost half of the total approved area for construction in the south of Thailand being for hotel and resort construction.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the hotel industry
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the beginning of 2020 had heavily impacted the tourism industry in Thailand, due to the travel restrictions imposed. In the first half of 2020, the Thai tourism industry suffered a drastic decrease of tourism receipts and hotel businesses were temporarily closed in the following quarter of that year. As a countermeasure, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) announced several promotions to help the tourism and hospitality businesses. As an example, one of the promotions offered a 40 percent discount on hotel bookings to tourists in Thailand.