Thailand's hotel industry hasn't been the same since the global economic crisis struck in 2008. Discounts to win long-term customers in the new tourism markets of Russia, India, China and the Middle East may be the first step to recovery in the industry.
At the time there were sharp discounts in room rates and a price war ensued (Read article: #1 (03-03-2008), #2 (01-04-2009) and #3 (21-04-2010) ).
Every crisis presents new opportunities, however, and one new opportunity is to win over new markets to tourism in Thailand.
Indian weddings is one new market (Read DPA article).
Each big Indian wedding attracts from 250 to 600 guests. The hope is after their initial experience of Thailand, these people will come back for more.
Russian tourists, many of whom become long-stay tourists and purchase condominiums (Read recent article and most importantly Peter Janssen's 2008 article on the Pattaya condo market).
Russians are also a growing market segment of buyers in Thailand's condominium market (Read article).
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Low rates better than empty rooms by Chadamas Chinmaneevong
As the Thai tourism industry has been reeling from the global economic crisis and local political problems since the end of 2008, operators have been pinning their hopes on a few successful markets such as China, Russia, and the Middle East.
Hotel leases to accommodate specific tourist groups have been made for a long time by big international tour operators, which prefer to send their clients to regular hotels that offer special deals. Block-booking of dozens or hundreds of rooms is common throughout the global industry...
...Visanu Jaroensilp, a director of the TAT's Moscow office, said three-star hotels in Pattaya and Koh Chang are seeing much of this activity.
Room rates haven't been damaged that much because the average room price for these kinds of block-booking deals is around 600 to 700 baht per night, down from a normal rate of 1,000 baht, said Mr Visanu...
...The TAT projects Russian tourist arrivals to Thailand in 2010 will reach 530,000, a gain from 433,000 in 2009.
The TAT believes only one-fifth of tourists will be staying at hotels where lease deals are in effect. About 60% go to Pattaya, 15% to Phuket, and the rest to Koh Samui, Koh Chang and Bangkok. The length of stay is 12-13 days per trip. Spending is around 3,900 baht per day per person, down from 4,200 baht last year, mainly due to a decline in room rates...
For the fourth quarter this year, air bookings from Russia are estimated at 150,000 to 160,000 seats. The TAT forecasts Russian tourists will increase by 5% to 556,500 in 2011...
(Source: Bangkok Post, TOURISM, Low rates better than empty rooms, 22/11/2010, Chadamas Chinmaneevong, link)
book (verb) - making arrangements to use something in the future (such as a hotel room, table in restaurant, seat in airplane or theatre)
block-booking - making an arrangement to use a large number of things in the future (here: hotel rooms)
discount - reducing the price of a good for sale (to help it sell)
sharp discounts - very big discounts
price war - when companies start cutting prices by large amounts because there are so few customers so sales are very low
ensued - started to happen
win over - make people choose to do something or believe something new
long stay tourists - tourists who stay longer than the typical 1-4 weeks or who come repeatedly to a place as tourists
market segment -
empty - having nothing inside ว่างเปล่า
reeling - move about in an unsteady way as if about to fall down กระท่อนกระแท่น ร่อแร่
global - throughout the world ทั่วโลก
crisis - an urgent, difficult or dangerous situation วิกฤต
local - in or related to the area that you live ท้องถิ่น
operators - businesses doing a certain kind of business
pin hopes on Y - rely on Y for success (choose only Y to achieve goals)
lease - a legal agreement in which you pay money in order to use a building, piece of land, vehicle, etc. for a period of time สัญญาเช่า
accommodate - to provide a place for someone to stay ให้ที่พักพิง
international - ระหว่างประเทศ between countries
clients - (formal) customer ลูกค้า
common - often happens, usual
fourth quarter - the last three months of the year (a time period used by companies, the government and other organizations for budgeting spending and for reporting financial performance)
forecasts - what experts say will happen in the future คาดการณ์
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