Hotel business remains sound despite political protests


BANGKOK, Feb 6 – Hotel operators in Bangkok today denied having laid off employees despite a drop in occupancy rate at outlets in anti-government rally sites to 25-30 per cent.

Surapong Techaruvichit, president of the Thai Hotels Association (THA), said occupancy in tourism cities, such as Koh Samui, Phuket and Chiang Mai, remained as high as 85 per cent and some hotels reported 95 per cent bookings with Chinese tourists as the major visitors.

Tourists are sensitive to political unrest but they understand and continue their trips when explained, he said.

The average occupancy for Bangkok’s hotels dropped 20 per cent but those in and around rally sites, especially Ratchaprasong and Silom, reported only 20 per cent check-in, he said.

He said the overall revenue losses from tourism have yet to be assessed but hoteliers have prepared measures to build up confidence in the international market once the political situation is back to normal.

The public sector should also be responsible for restoring the (hotel and tourism) market, he said.

Mr Surapong ruled out a report that some hotels have laid off employees, saying hoteliers have, instead, saved spending on electricity and social activities.