Before the pandemic, Bangkok was the world's most visited city, a swarm of activity and vitality that drew over 22 million international tourists each year. Then, without warning, everything fell silent. Bangkok has returned after the Test & Go re-entry into Thailand was restarted on February 1, 2022. The city is once again embracing visitors from around the world, with hotel rates beginning to climb and restaurants reopening. But what does the future hold for Thailand's capital city?
These challenges were addressed head-on in "Bangkok is Back!" a fast-paced 45-minute webinar that brought together a panel of industry professionals to discuss the important issues affecting Thailand's capital. The virtual event, which was co-hosted by C9 Hotelworks and Delivering Asia Communications, featured expert insights from data analysts, hotel owners and operators, general managers, and restaurateurs to provide a 360-degree overview of the city's hospitality sector.
While Bangkok's occupancy still has space for improvement, the city's ADR is a reason to be positive, according to Jesper Palmqvist, Area Director for the Asia Pacific at STR, the hotel benchmarking experts.
"Bangkok's occupancy remains low, with only 27% of available rooms "Bangkok's occupancy remains low, with only 27% of rooms available booked. However, compared to other cities in the vicinity, like compared to other cities in the vicinity, like as Singapore or Hong Kong, ADR has fared relatively well. The premium market has been heavily impacted. This is a demand-driven issue, and luxury has struggled to maintain visitor numbers up, while other markets are improving."
"International visitors are eager to return to Thailand, but they are now ready to travel to the islands. They are still unsure about returning to Bangkok. But we're establishing a remarkable situation, with over 70% of Thailand already vaccinated against Covid-19. This is crucial not only in Thailand but also in source markets. People who have been vaccinated are more willing to travel. What's crucial is that Restrictions are fading, and countries are becoming more accessible. It appears that things are looking up.
"The pandemic has been like a rollercoaster, but not nearly as entertaining." So, while we're wary about the most recent reopening, we're excited and optimistic about the future.
"The immunization percentage in Bangkok is close to 90%, which is fantastic news. The Test & Go program is still in its early stages, but as news spreads, more individuals will learn how simple it is to enter the country. Centara is focusing on providing an authentic and pleasurable guest experience while maintaining rigorous health and safety requirements. We're seeing an increase in bookings, and Bangkok is picking up. It's a fantastic conclusion to the story.
Markland Blaiklock, Centara Hotels & Resorts' Deputy CEO, said during the webinar that he is "full of energy" for Bangkok's tourism resurgence.
Nopparat Aumpa, Senior Assistant Vice President & General Manager of Banyan Tree Bangkok, and Sunny Bajaj, Managing Director of Amburaya Hotels, who represented hoteliers, Killian Donoghue, General Manager of Le Méridien Bangkok, who addressed the critical issue of human resources, and Rohit Sachdev, CEO of SOHO Hospitality, who represented the restaurant sector, joined STR's Jesper Palmqvist and Centara's Markland Black
Bill Barnett, Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks, and David Johnson, CEO of Delivering Asia Communications, hosted this virtual think-tank in their unique style.
"Bangkok has returned!" The city's borders have reopened, and it is once again accepting visitors. But this is uncharted ground; what can the City of Angels expect in the following months? This is an unfamiliar circumstance that requires a leap of faith and a move into the unknown. "Where we're headed, we don't need roads!" exclaims Doc Brown in "Back to the Future."
"Bangkok's recovery has accelerated, and we believe that these forward-thinking internets think pieces will assist the sector in preparing for it."
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