Bill Barnett from c9hotelworks.com continues to follow the difficult journey of the Thai hospitality industry. Traditionally, now would be the start of the country’s highly profitable high season for the tourism industry. But not this year. Thai hotels find themselves in the middle of an existential crisis – either still closed, only partly open, or one of the few converted to limited ASQ traffic. The situation is dire, when you consider that between 15-20% of Thailand’s GDP is linked to tourism.
In a speech this week Thailand’s Prime Minster Prayut Chan-o-cha spoke clearly that only when a vaccine is approved, produced, and implemented, would the country open to substantial tourism. Given the current timelines and forecasts, this may not be likely until mid-2021 at the earliest, though subject to advancement if the process could be accelerated, which is unlikely.
For tourism and hotel stakeholders, the writing is on the wall that 2021, for the most part, will see a continued reliance on domestic travellers, and only in 2022 will there be a large-scale return in numbers of overseas visitors.
Currently, the hotel sector continues to advocate to the Thai government and Central Bank for debt and financing relief measures and assistance in a social security supplement to retain staff.
While it’s negative news, it at least allows for hotels to understand the challenges ahead, plan and adjust their operating models going forward. ‘Survive the downturn’ is the new mantra.
Read the full article at The Thaiger: https://thethaiger.com/coronavirus/re-opening-thailand-to-tourism-will-be-vaccine-dependent