BANGKOK – Thailand’s hoteliers are keeping fingers crossed for a late Chinese New Year booking surge.
So far bookings from China for the holiday period later this month are running well short of expectations, according to a report by TNN Thailand.
Suphawan Thanomkiatphoom, head of Thailand's hoteliers' association, has predicted a tough year ahead for Thai tourism if bookings for the upcoming Chinese New Year are an indication of what lies ahead.
She expects this year's hotel occupancy in the holiday period to be 85%. This would put January's total occupancy total at 75% compared to last year's 90%.
Suphawan cited economic conditions, and the strength of the baht as ongoing challenges.
Even the domestic market is expected to spend less over Chinese New Year.
According to the Kasikorn Research Centre, festive spending among Bangkokians is expected to decline three per cent year-on-year, due mainly to shrinking purchasing power and a looming drought crisis in Thailand.
“New generation consumers tend to be more detached from ancient traditions, while mid-to low-income earners often decide to skip celebration to save cost,” the Research Centre noted.