Survey of Thai Hotel Operators Shows That Most of Them Want To Close Temporarily

52% of hotel operators are thinking about temporarily closing, while 9% want to close permanently if the Covid-19 pandemic persists longer than expected.
A joint survey by the Bank of Thailand and Thai Hotels Association (THA) found that 62% of hotel operators planned to reduce labor costs in order to deal with the financial effects of the pandemic.
61% of respondents said they planned to cut other expenses.
In the survey conducted between Aug 13-28, the central bank and THA surveyed 234 respondents, 14 of whom were alternative state quarantines and five were hospitals.
A total of 38% of Phuket Sandbox respondents said foreign tourist arrivals were lower than expected, but 35% said the numbers were what they expected.
The occupancy rate averaged 15%.
Surat Thani, the host of the Samui Plus model, reported fewer travelers than expected, with an average occupancy rate of 4%.
Over half of hotel operators reported income below 10% of pre-Covid levels, and 17% earned 11-30% of their pre-outbreak income.
According to THAI president Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, hotels nationwide had an occupancy rate of 10.6% in August, only slightly higher than the previous month’s 9.6%.
65% of hotel operators said they were only able to survive for less than three months.
Marisa said that while 17% of them remained closed, the number of active hotels increased from 40.1% in July to 48.4% in August, mainly driven by hotels in Bangkok, which turned to the long-stay market, and in Phuket, which has its quarantine-free program for inoculated tourists.
A recent drop in confidence in Koh Samui prompted tourism operators to call for a relaxation of the Samui Plus model, which still requires inbound tourists to stay at quarantine facilities for three days.
She suggested applying the quarantine-free approach to other destinations to stimulate demand, which could help hotels survive the tough financial crisis.
By September 6, Samui had received only 621 tourists via the pilot program, while over 400 tourists had completed the program in Phuket and then traveled to Samui.
Starting July 15, tourists spent 7,136 nights in Samui Plus destinations, and another 8,335 have been reserved in advance.
Phuket saw 176,128 and 125,434 room nights booked in August and September, respectively.

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