Bangkok’s hotel sector is entering a period of sustained growth, buoyed by strong inbound travel demand and political stability
Political stability and surging international visitors arrivals are proving a potent mix for Bangkok, as the Thai capital is poised to achieve its strongest performance in recent years in 2018 with no disruptive events anticipated.
“Thailand has seen a lot of ups and downs over the past 10 years but it’s on a clear path of growth (in the hotel sector),” STR’s area director Asia-Pacific Jesper Palmqvist projected at Thailand Tourism Forum earlier this year.
Bangkok’s hotel sector is “finding its strides”, reflected in the steady rise of its ADR and occupancy rates in the past three years. RevPAR, for instance, broke 10-year records for 10 months out of 12 in 2017, Palmqvist shared.
The growth momentum recorded for Bangkok’s hotels in the last two years is likely to be repeated in 2018, said Horwath HTL’s director Nikhom Jensiriratanakorn.
According to a recent HVS Market Pulse report, the overall stability in the market has contributed to the strong performance of hotels during the first two quarters of 2018. The outlook for the remaining months of 2018 is optimistic, driven by expected strong demand levels in international visitor arrivals, coupled with the political stability in the market with elections being postponed to 2019.
The positive outlook of Bangkok lodging sector is also apparent at Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, which has enjoyed continued growth in all major metrics so far, Robert Maurer Loeffler, the hotel’s general manager and corporate director of operations told TTG Asia.
“Our Bangkok properties are enjoying a positive 2018. The first quarter was particularly strong and we have seen year-on-year growth in both occupancy and rates. Transient business has driven two-thirds of the growth while growth in the group segment has been led by double-digit increases from wholesale group business,” Loeffler commented.
“The remainder of 2018 is looking equally positive and while the transient growth will continue its trend from the first half of the year, the groups’ growth will be driven by increased MICE business, with other group segments remaining constant with last year. We hope to enter 2019 pacing ahead of prior years too,” he elaborated.
There is still considerable amount of new branded supply entering the Bangkok market in the foreseeable future, including much-anticipated brands like Capella, Edition and Four Seasons added to the city’s luxury segment.
Hilton, however, maintains “an extremely bullish outlook” on Thailand, including the luxury segment, said vice president, operations, luxury Asia-Pacific Daniel Welk. The hospitality giant has just launched its latest property, Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, in the Thai capital.
If there’s anything that growing competition has brought, it’s greater clarity for Hilton’s hotel brands, Welk stated.
“The swim lanes are more defined now,” he said.