Hotel industry : vertigo and delirium

The Thai Hotels Association (THA) will urge the government to launch a global campaign from May to November to revive tourism and stave off unemployment.

Tourism and Sports Minister Chumpol Silapa-archa will be asked to submit the seven-month measure for Cabinet approval.

The promotion will be aimed at attracting international tourists by offering special packages and benefits to all visitors during that period.

The special deal requires four continuous days of stay in a member hotel.

“The association would like the government to help by encouraging travel agencies across the world to push the campaign, but officials must award them Bt1,500 per tourist,” Methee Tanmanatrakul, president of the THA’s southern chapter, said yesterday.

The THA has projected the campaign would draw 2 million travellers during the low season and inject Bt36 billion in revenue into the industry, with Bt12 billion going directly to hotel operators. (Nation)

2 millions ? Why not 4 ? Or 8 ? Or 10 millions ?

The THA has to understand that during a solvency crisis, they can organize all the promotions they want… It won’t change the grim situation, It won’t create B747 full of gluttonous tourists ready to ransack 5 stars hotels, like Jesus multiplying bread.

Wake up guys.

The challenge is not to revive tourism… but to prevent a collapse of tourism.


In 2007, 14,46 millions tourists arrived in Thailand (among them 11,97 millions arrived by plane).

In 2008 (we don’t have yet the data for december), but the total should be around 14 millions.

So 2 millions = 15 %.

18 Responses to “Hotel industry : vertigo and delirium”

  1. 1 prokester 1 April 2009 at 2:50 am

    Bangkok hotels are running near 30% occupancy, Pattaya around 55-60%, similar for Phuket & Samui. The north and east are more like 30-35%…. and that’s now.
    May will see the numbers drop off to not much aboce post-airport closure levels.
    Whstever crsap they come up with will fail

  2. 2 Bedwyr 1 April 2009 at 3:21 am

    More thrashing about. They don;t have a clue what they are doing. Thais never learned that not all change is progress and not all activity is useful.


  3. 3 tom_bkk 1 April 2009 at 4:29 am


    Regarding the Tourist Arrivals … The December 2008 and also January 2009 are here

  4. 4 ThaiCrisis 1 April 2009 at 5:51 am

    Yes I follow those data… The problem is : it’s “arrivals a Suvarnabhumi Airport”. I focus on “arrivals by nationality (total)”. It gives a broader view.

    + I keep the past data (that were published on the TAT website before)… So I can make comparisons.

    In any case : at Suva, in january it’s -20 % compared to january 2008.

  5. 5 sammy 1 April 2009 at 7:18 am

    No sympathy for the hotel “profession” in Thailand from me.

    Owners? Greedy Chinese who seek the “face” of showing off to their golf buddies an international brand for their cement box hotel with Kinaree figures in the lobby, built on public land in a park or nature reserve.

    Managers? Oh, excuse me, I mean “hoteliers” – the ones here who have had eleven jobs in the last nine years and are clueless wonders that do nothing but sign checks all day for things they don’t know anything about.

    Financial controllers? Make the guest pay on arrival with deposit,but pay their suppliers late and laugh about it.

    Suppliers? Pay off kickbacks to F&B to take garbage wine and cheap food instead of quality for the guests.

    Food and beverage? Overpriced by even international standards, bland, cheap, and sometimes spoiled. Wines that clearly let the customer know they are valued…around one satang.

    Facilities? I challenge anyone to find a hotel in Thailand where the air conditioning responds to the thermostat. Every empty room in the hotel has an alarm clock whose alarm is louder than a jet taking off, waiting to sound off in the rooms next to yours at 5 a.m. For sure, if you try to unpack, lie down, take a dump or bath, they will come and knock on the door or phone you up for nothing but some stupid question about your check out date or whatever. And don’t even bother trying to find an available electrical outlet anywhere other than in the bathroom.

    Thai Staff? The worst in the world. Worse than Africa. Housekeepers steal from the guests. Wait staff who think service means showing up for their shift, Front desk staff who laugh at guests when they ask a simple question in English. Cooks who accept kickbacks from suppliers to take grade B beef when the hotel is paying for grade A. Concierges who send you to katoey shows in a mafia taxi who won’t bring you back unless you pay twice.

    Regulators? Fire safety? Forget it. Labor Courts to discipline staff who violate the rights of guests? Forget it. Unions. Sure!

    Prices? Absurd.

    And this is what Thailand calls a five star experience.

    I hope they all go broke. The rich Chinese will then stick it to the Thai banks. The staff will go back to their family rice farm or work in a Seven Eleven. The managers and suppliers can all go to the Maldives or China to look for a job. And the hotels can get turned into condos to be sold to unsuspecting foreigners (see Condo owner arrested… for working illegally)

  6. 6 Bedwyr 1 April 2009 at 9:17 am


    Another happy customer of Thailand’s finest.

    Learned quicker than most too…


  7. 7 Lothar 1 April 2009 at 10:31 am

    Were the _AVERAGE_ occupancy numbers any higher then 30% in BKK even in good years? There was always a total oversupply of hotels in tourist places in Thailand.

    And they still build more and more. So even without a worldwide crisis they would have problems.

    If the arrivals are only 20% down i’m surprised. But i believe that the tourists are also cutting back other spendings. Small motorbike instead of big Harley Davidson clone, 3 stars instead of 5 stars …

    Everybody was only investing in the luxuary market because it is much easier there to make big profits (well at least thats what people believe) and became rich fast. Unfortunately that was not was Thailand was popular. It was always the best low-cost holiday destination. 2nd huge crisis independent reason for a tourist desaster.

  8. 8 prokester 1 April 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Lother…. yes indeed they were. It’s a business I have holdings in TH, and this is the worst ever we have faced.
    Of the 3 hotels, one in BKK, one in Pattaya and one in Samui, the occupancy this year so far and for Q4 08 has been dire.
    The 10 year average… full year that is, not on a seasonal basis is : BKK 64% / PTY : 69% / Samui : 72%.

    IMHO Sammy, ur well of the mark. Thai service is good. Yes could be better, but to say Africa is better…you are talking crud.

    Credit where credit is due old boy.

    A few points of interest…at least to me.

    1. The Russians are not coming. PTY suffering big time as a result.
    2. Samui is an environmental powder keg. It’s going dow hill, but not too fast. Some might say it started 20yrs ago. They are right. Hope? Not much I’m afraid.
    3. BKK. Buggered. I hear we get up to a dozen calls a day from forward booked guests re saftey and airport…. red shirted activites not helping at all.
    4. One of the Middle East’s biggests banks has cut off debit/credit/ATM access for TH, Malaysia and China. Also effectng biz, as the Arabs like the wet season, but get trully pissed when they cant access their cash.
    5. Brit business has fallen off a cliff. No prizes for guessing why. Ditto Swedes, French an t a lesser extent Germans.
    6. The Chinese and Japs are down by about 60% Y-on-Y
    7. The clampdown on nightlife and drinking laws over the past 4-5yrs has given Singapore, Malaysia and most signficantly Indonesia and S China a lot of biz. More than one might imagine.

    You might be aware that the Sukhumvit police…well, tonglor and Limpini have a massive drug scam going. Not in the BK Post…but it has been a nightmare for all hotels. Scams and subsequent trips to the ATM…

    Luckily we can still get so much knock off booze from TG ( and the fake paper shit on the bottles), but there is a limit as to how much cheapo Dom one can sell.

    It’s buggered alright…and no way out thi time apart from a long and painfull wait. Expect room rate deflation for a good 12-18 months more.

  9. 9 ThaiCrisis 1 April 2009 at 8:23 pm

    And don’t forget… the new rooms coming… Because of course the suckers launched a 5 stars hotels building mania.

    Let’s celebrate the recession… by opening 11,150 new hotel rooms by 2010

    Cisor effect. Less customers and an ever increasing offer.

    “The horror… The horror”. 😉

  10. 10 sammy 2 April 2009 at 12:17 am


    Crud? I dont know. In South Africa they hold the door open for you when they see you coming. Here, they just stand there and watch you open it yourself.That’s my experience, anyway.

    >>>You might be aware that the Sukhumvit police…well, tonglor and Limpini have a massive drug scam going. Not in the BK Post…but it has been a nightmare for all hotels. Scams and subsequent trips to the ATM…>>>

    can you elaborate on this? I have not heard anything about it.

    In Phuket I hear the police are going to foreign owned businesses and homes to “inspect” the premises and trying to shake down the foreigners for money. They also are very active in shaking down motorists and motorcylists for imaginary violations and even false accusations of drunks driving of people who do not even drink.

  11. 11 sammy 2 April 2009 at 12:26 am

    Luckily we can still get so much knock off booze from TG

    who is TG?

  12. 12 ray 2 April 2009 at 4:27 am


    if yr samui hotel has 72% occupancy i say kudos to u!!! i live in samui and most of my friends in hotel business say business is down 50%. looks like u are doing something right.

  13. 13 prokester 2 April 2009 at 10:51 am

    Sammy. There are a group of dealers working with the cops. They offer mostly charlie…. then their mates bust you. The gopinbg rate is THB80k, but they nwill accept 40 if they see your ATM card wont give out more. I know of more than a dozen cases so far this year.
    I said the 10yr average was 72. Right now it’s about 60.
    TG = Thai Airways. The Dom is the best value. THB 3800 / bottle. Costs 6k in duty free and nearly 10k at Villa.
    Blue Label also good. We get it for THB 2200 from the TG tealeaf mob.

  14. 14 InPhuket 5 April 2009 at 6:34 pm

    Sammy wrote -“In Phuket I hear the police are going to foreign owned businesses and homes to “inspect” the premises and trying to shake down the foreigners for money. They also are very active in shaking down motorists and motorcylists for imaginary violations and even false accusations of drunks driving of people who do not even drink.”

    No, thats not accurate at all. Police will stop motorists for two things here (No Helmet, and Drivers License) I have been stopped probably 30 times in the last 3 years. I show them my DL, and off I go. Never more than a 15 second stop. That does not mean its not happening, or it hasn’t happened, but I have not seen it.

  15. 15 clubsiam 5 April 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Scroll down this page to see the extent visitors are being scammed, defrauded and fleeced.
    This is bad news for tourism. Travel agents, worldwide are not recommending Thailand any longer. Too many negative reports.

    In 5 years, arrivals will be down 50% if this crap isn’t stopped.

  16. 17 ThaiCrisis 6 April 2009 at 4:07 am

    Unbelievable ! I didn’t know this thread. They should make a website of it.

    Anyway : to be kept in bookmarks.

  17. 18 Phuket hotels 6 April 2009 at 4:37 am

    Yeah its bad these days and to be honest, the Thais themselves are not helping matters. If its not the corrupt cops, the thieving ladyboy gangs, its just plain bad attitude and service. The service quality has gone done, people are not happy, and thus are not extending sanuk and jai dee into the guest experience.

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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