Rising hotel rates and reopening attractions put Bangkok’s recovery on the fast track

The “Bangkok is Back” online event hears tourism and hospitality experts explain how the Thai capital is on track for a rapid rebound in the post-pandemic era.

BANGKOK, THALANDE – Before the pandemic, Bangkok was the most visited city on the planet – a thriving hive of energy and activity that attracted more than 22 million international visitors a year. Then, without warning, everything calmed down. Today, after the long-awaited reopening of Thailand’s borders on November 1, 2021, Bangkok is back. The city is once again welcoming travelers from all over the world, hotel prices begin to rise and restaurants are reopening. But what does the future hold for the Thai capital?

These topics were tackled head-on in “Bangkok is back! “, a fast and furious 45-minute webinar that saw a panel of industry experts come together and delve into critical issues affecting the Thai capital. Hosted by C9 Hotelworks and Delivering Asia Communications, the virtual event featured expert opinions from data analysts, hotel owners and operators, general managers and restaurateurs, to create the big picture 360 degrees of the city’s hotel sector.

Jesper palmqvist, Area Director for Asia-Pacific at STR, the hotel benchmarking specialists, found that while Bangkok’s occupancy rate still has room for improvement, the city’s Average Daily Rate (ADR) is cause for optimism. “Bangkok’s occupancy rate remains low – only 27% of rooms open. But ADR has held up relatively well compared to other cities in the region, such as Singapore or Hong Kong. The luxury sector has been hit the hardest. This is a demand-driven crisis and luxury has really struggled to maintain its occupancy rate, but other markets are on the rise ”, Palmqvist said.

“International travelers are ready to return to Thailand, but for now they are heading to the islands. They do not yet have the confidence to return to Bangkok. Corn,” he added, “We have a great scenario building, with almost 70% of people now vaccinated against COVID-19. This is not only important in Thailand, but also in the source markets. If people are vaccinated, they are more willing to travel. The important thing is that the restrictions are reduced and that the countries open up. It is sure that it is a bearer of hope.

Markland Blaiklock, deputy general manager of Centara Hotels and Resorts, told the webinar that he was “full of energy” for the resumption of tourism in Bangkok. “The pandemic has been like a roller coaster, but not as fun. So while we are cautious about the latest reopening, we are very excited and positive about the future.

“In Bangkok, the vaccination rate is around 90% and that’s great news. Test & Go has just started, but as the news spreads more and more people will see how easy it is to enter the country. Centara strives to make the customer experience as authentic and enjoyable as possible, while maintaining high standards of health and safety. We are seeing booking levels increase and Bangkok is recovering. It’s an excellent end of the year and, hopefully, a good preparation for what awaits us ”, he added.

STR’s Jesper Palmqvist and Centara’s Markland Blaiklock were joined during the webinar by Nopparat Aumpa, Senior Assistant Vice President and General Manager of Banyan Tree Bangkok, and Sunny Bajaj, general manager of Hotels in Amburaya, which offered the point of view of hoteliers, Killian Donoghue, general manager of Le Méridien Bangkok, which addressed the crucial issue of human resources, and Rohit Sachdev, CEO of SOHO Hospitality, which provided information from the restaurant industry.

This virtual think-tank was animated – in an original and inimitable style – by Bill barnett, general manager of Hospitality C9, and David johnson, CEO of Provide communications in Asia.

“Bangkok is back! The borders have reopened and the city welcomes the world once again. But it is uncharted territory; what do the next few months have in store for the City of Angels? It is a new situation, an act of faith, a step into the unknown. But as Doc Brown says in ‘Back to the Future’: “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!” Bangkok’s recovery is now accelerated, and we hope that through these forward-looking online thinking we can help the industry prepare for it ”, said Bill Barnett.

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