Room booking rates rise by 10% as festive winter season begins, temperatures drop


BANGKOK, Dec 11 – Thailand’s Association of Domestic Travel (ADT) said accommodation reservation rate has increased by only ten percent, despite the commencement of the high winter season, as the tourism industry remains affected by the country’s severe flooding, the association president said on Sunday.

ADT president Maiyarat Peerayankoses said temperatures which started to drop Sunday morning gave hope to tour agencies that it would help boost inbound tourism industry in 2012, after nationwide flooding this year forced tourists to cancel their room bookings by 90 percent.

Ms Maiyarat said the entrepreneurs had hoped that domestic tourism would become lively again during the New Year due to the cooler weather.

The ADT president however expressed concern that hotel bookings increased by only ten percent as people were forced to spend money on restoration of flood-damaged homes.

If they have enough budget leftover, Ms Maiyarat urged, they should treat themselves to a holiday to relax.

Ms Maiyarat added the ADT asked the government to help boost the tourism industry through various channels, including increasing more loan sources for tourism-related businesses, offering tax reduction for those who buy tour packages and advising local state agencies to spend their budget on seminars or other activities with local tour companies.

The president added she also discussed with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to release more frequent publicity on tourist attractions to encourage Thais to travel more.

Ms Maiyarat suggested interesting routes for tourist during the New Year period as the six provinces of the upper North and the International Horticultural Exposition Ratchaphruek 2011, which will begin in Chiang Mai from Dec 14 through March 14 next year.

Meanwhile the Department of Meteorological issued a warning of cooler weather with 2-3 °C drops and strong wind likely over the North, the Northeast, the East and the Central Thailand, including Bangkok and its vicinity.

The warning said high elevations will experience very cold weather and possible frost with minimum temperature below 10°C, and people are advised to wear thick clothes due to suddenly changing weather.