Foreigners traveling to Thailand with members of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) totaled 1.46 million from Jan 1 to March 20, a 16% gain from the same period last year, says ATTA president Vichit Prakobkosol.
China remained the top source market with 870,720 visitors, a 29% rise, followed by South Korea with 72,546 (+8.7%), India with 55,618 (+18.3%) and Japan with 55,078, (+17.7%). Tourists from Russia recorded a 42% drop to 46,797 visitors. China contributed nearly 60% of total arrivals. Supawan Tanomkieatipume, president of the Thai Hotels Association (THA), said that despite the tourism boom, many hotel operators are unable to increase room rates because of tough competition and a glut of rooms.
This year, hotels in Hua Hin and Chaam have experienced significant drops, as many Westerners shifted to Phuket. Average occupancy rates for the two resort towns fell from 80-90% to 60-65% during the first quarter this year, Supawan said. “Hotel operators said if they increase room rates, they will not get customers,” she said. “They are keeping their attractive prices.”
The average room rate for a five-star hotel in Bangkok is 4,720 THB, while it is 2,066 THB for a small hotel, 1,800 THBt for a hotel in Hua Hin, 2,600 THB for Pattaya, 1,120 THB for the upper Northeast and 5,800 for Phuket. – Bangkok Post