Pattaya hotel occupancy goes from bad to worse

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Pattaya’s hotel occupancy rate has gone from bad to worse, with resorts, hotels and guesthouses now just 30 percent full.

Sanphet Suphabuansathien, President of the Thai Hotels Association Eastern Region.
Sanphet Suphabuansathien, President of the Thai Hotels Association Eastern Region.

Sanphet Suphabuansathien, president the Thai Hotels Association Eastern Region, said prospects for the final quarter of this year aren’t much better. Russians, he said, now prefer Phuket to Pattaya and the Chinese market has dropped 70 percent after the crackdown on “zero-baht” budget tours.

Bookings from the European market, he said, are stable, but they comprise only a small part of Pattaya’s tourist market now. He said more work needs to be done to attract visitors from Southeast Asia as well as Thai vacationers.

The year, Sanphet said, started out good, but has sagged badly and now 2016 will fall below 2015, when Pattaya had the worst hotel occupancy of any Thai tourist destination, trailing Chiang Mai, Phuket and Koh Samui.

Even the usual prospect of China’s “golden week” at the beginning of October has lost its luster, as the tourists on dirt-cheap tours no longer are coming to Thailand.

The only bright note – for travelers at least – is that high season hotel rates in Pattaya are expected to remain the same as they were during low season.