Hua Hin and nearby Cha-am are the destinations
of choice for Thais fleeing the floods, while expatriates
are heading for Pattaya, Knight Frank Thailand has found
Budget hotels in those resort cities are fully occupied, as are serviced apartments in Bangkok, especially in the Sukhumvit area.
Risinee Sarikaputra, associate director of research and valuation for the real-estate consultancy, noted that the word “evacuation” has become popular in the media. And as the floods seep into the capital, the buzzword now is being applied to Bangkokians.
Many Bangkokians have second homes in Hua Hin, more so than in Pattaya. Nowadays, infrastructure is relatively well developed in Hua Hin, and the city boasts supermarkets and restaurants with a range of international foods, international schools, universities and international hospitals, she said.
While budget and economy hotels are brimming in both Hua Hin and Pattaya, the occupancy rate of luxury hotels is quite stable, although bookings by international visitors have been cancelled because of the flooding. These upscale hotels can boost their occupancy rate by accommodating Bangkokians, but their revenue is still diminished as locals’ spending power is less than foreigners’.
Another factor is that better-off Thais who own second homes in resort destinations are not likely to stay in hotels. So the hotels showing high occupancy rates during the flood crisis are the lower-priced ones, with average rates of Bt1,500-Bt2,500 per night.
Meanwhile in Bangkok, the occupancy rate of serviced apartments has increased recently, especially those with upper-level parking such as Chatrium Suites. Bookings cancelled by international visitors avoiding the floods have been compensated for by locals, though the rental rates have decreased slightly. Many serviced apartments report that their units are fully occupied, especially those in the Sukhumvit area such as Grand President. A few expatriates have decided to go back to their own countries, while others have stayed in Thailand but moved out of the capital to such places as Pattaya. Many companies have rented hotels near their offices for expatriate staff, while the occupancy of hotels near Suvarnabhumi Airport is quite high.
Under these circumstances, some sectors of the accommodation business are performing well thanks to demand by locals.