Caused by the United States trade war and stronger baht, the hotels in Thailand have been forced to slash down the prices because of the continuous vacant room and sparse beaches as it is experiencing limited Chinese tourists into the popular holiday island of Thailand.
According to last year's statistics, in 2018 there were 2.2 million people from China whereas in 2018 from January- September the footfall is almost one-fifth of last year. Tourism accounts for 18 percent of Thailand’s gross domestic product and Chinese tourists make up more than a quarter of total arrivals. Known for its nightlife and beaches, Phuket located in the Andaman Sea is popular destination amongst the masses and was the most visited destination in the country after Bangkok in 2018.
The problem is not only in Phuket, but many other destinations have also been affected as well including resorts of Pattaya and Koh Samui Island who are struggling immensely to fill up the vacant rooms.
Mr. Claude de Crissey, Honorary Consul of France in Phuket and owner of about 40 rooms in the popular Patong Beach area, said he had to lower the prices by as much as 50 percent. He mentioned Chinese tourists are usually present even during the current low season. "That was not the case this year," he added.
The Thai baht has risen to 10 percent against the yuan this year and also the tensions with the US had made Chinese tourists reluctant to take a trip owing to the uncertainty, back home.
The recent boating disaster in Phuket where 47 Chinese tourists were killed has scared a lot of tourists. The situation is oddly aggregated with the construction of more than 3000 hotels on the Island, raising questions of who would fill them.
"In terms of business, it's not good," said Mr. Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, vice-president of the association of hotels in Thailand and director of Vijitt Resort. He said, "As we have more hotels, more rooms to sell, we have more restaurants, more coffee shops." Still, tourism authority chairman Yuthasak Supasorn said he remained "optimistic", adding: "We should reach our goal of 39.8 million foreign visitors this year”.
Now hoteliers and tour package operators are targeting visitors from different nearby countries altogether, particularly India which is a huge untapped market with huge potential.
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