Thai hotels want long-standing issues resolved

WITH an election in the country scheduled for July 3, the Thai Hotels Association (THA) is hoping that the incoming government will be able to resolve the industry’s lingering problems.

Addressing members at yesterday’s monthly gathering, THA president Prakit Chinamourphong said the association would urge the new government to address the issues of hotel licensing and zoning.

He said hotels in the country were facing competition from a burgeoning number of serviced apartments operating without a proper license. The demarcation of areas for hotel development would help curb current oversupply in areas such as Bangkok.

According to Prakit, hotels in the Thai capital run with average room rates (ARR) of just above US$100 per roomnight, compared to hotels in Hong Kong and Singapore, with ARR at about US$250.

Hotels in Bangkok finished the first quarter of 2011 with an average occupancy of 60 per cent, a 10 per cent increase over the same period last year.

In May, hotels are expected to run at more than 60 per cent occupancy, up from around 30 per cent occupancy during the same month last year, when the Thai capital was besieged by political unrest and about 20 hotels were forced to close for weeks.

By Sirima Eamtako

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