Thailand focuses on the domestic market

BANGKOK, 19 June 2020: International tourism remains a work in progress across Southeast Asia that will depend on cross-border agreements and restoration of airlift, but the immediate goal for hotels is to create cash flow and to achieve that they must rely on Thailand’s domestic market.

That was one of the standout observations of a half-year temperature check hosted by the organisers of the annual Thailand Tourism Forum.

TTF 2020 Bangkok-based speakers (from left): QUO CEO, David Keen;
Rosewood Bangkok Director of Sales and Marketing, Leanne Reddie;
Centara Hotels & Resorts CEO Thirayuth Chirathivat; IC Partners CEO,
Charles Blocker; Hotel Intel Editor-in-Chief Wimintra Raj; Delivering
Asia Communications CEO, David Johnson; and Horwath HTL Director-
Thailand, Nikhom Jensiriratanakorn.

Summing up the takeaway points of TTF2020 – Special Bangkok Edition, C9’s managing director Bill Barnett said: “Expect Thailand to take to the road in considerably greater numbers for the remainder of 2020 and the industry will have to fish where the fish are as part of the recovery journey ahead.”

Thailand’s domestic-led tourism recovery was at the forefront of a virtual “TTF2020 – Special Bangkok Edition” on Wednesday an online event that attracted more than a 1,000 leading domestic and international travel and hotel industry participants.

Research from hospitality consulting group C9 Hotelworks and Delivering Asia Communications focused on Thailand’s domestic visitor market estimated at  227 million in 2019. Most of the domestic market heads to Chiang Mai and the beach resorts close to Bangkok.  The Thai capital attracts domestic business travellers but few Thai leisure visitors.

In a series of random polls as part of C9 and Delivering Asia’s market insight held over the weekend in Bangkok, an assortment of Greater Bangkok residents that represent more than 15 million people in the expanded metropolitan area voiced a clear preference for less dense, more natural provincial destinations. Those most mentioned were the islands of Chang and Kood and mountain areas of Phetchabun, Nan, Pai and Mae Sot.

In a key segment of the event STR area director – Asia Pacific Jesper Palmqvist said: “As Thailand’s economic engine, Bangkok will need to lead by example coming out of the crisis and promote and enable the domestic business that exists.”

As to what lays ahead for hotels Palmqvist added “forget about hitting 2019 levels again anytime soon and instead focus on recalibrating what acceptable hotel trading levels are. There is a case to be made for either economy and midscale or luxury properties to emerge more efficiently. Though the question remains, with tighter traveller belts on the horizon, which class of hotel will represent the fastest route to longer-term recovery?”

Summing up the takeaway points of TTF2020 – Special Bangkok Edition, C9’s managing director Bill Barnett said Expect Thailand to take to the road in considerably greater numbers for the remainder of 2020 and the industry would have to fish where the fish as part of the recovery journey ahead.”

The hybrid online event was organised by C9 Hotelworks and the American Chamber of Commerce Thailand with supporting presentations from Centara Hotels and Resorts CEO ThirayuthChirathivat and key senior executives from JLL, Horwath HTL, QUO, TSI, STR, Agoda, IHG, HotelIntel and Rosewood Bangkok.

To download the full-length event video and presentations, visit the following link https://www.delivering.asia/a-special-thailand-tourism-forum-2020-bangkok-edition-thailands-mega-travel-and-tourism-gateway-marketplace-temperature-check/?cat=insights

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