Some 63% of hotels recorded losses as average occupancy lingered below 30% despite the renewed Test & Go scheme, according to the hotel business operator sentiment index for February.
Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, president of the Thai Hotels Association (THA), said ¾ of hoteliers project a 30% occupancy rate should be sufficient to break even, but only 37% of them achieved that target.
The latest hotel index conducted by the THA and the Bank of Thailand polled 127 hoteliers from Feb 11-23.
The index found the average occupancy rate slightly improved to 34% from 32% in January, thanks to the fourth phase of We Travel Together, a hotel subsidy scheme, and the Test & Go programme for inbound travellers.
"Even though the Test & Go scheme has resumed, local tourists were still the majority of our customers. Almost half of hoteliers who took the survey said international guests made up less than 10% of their bookings," Mrs Marisa said.
At 20% of hotels, the international market accounted for 50% of overall guests.
The weak number of tourists was mainly attributed to complicated travel rules, particularly for RT-PCR testing and Thailand Pass registration.
The average daily rate for 82% of hotels still lagged behind the 2019 level because of fierce competition amid lower demand, found the survey.
She said as hotels still face an unsteady revenue stream, the THA would like the government to offer an extension of the 90% reduction in land and building tax until 2023 to help lift some of the burden.
Some 51% of respondents cited lower liquidity than the previous month, and 45% said remaining liquidity was enough for less than three months.
As the off-peak season is around the corner, the employment rate dropped to 59.8%, except for hotels in the Northeast and the North.
Mrs Marisa said 43% of hotels are struggling to find skilled workers, particularly those for front office positions, food and beverage staff, room attendants, kitchen, engineering as well as sales and marketing.
However, most hotels refrained from hiring more permanent staff. They preferred to maintain the same level of salary or opt for part-time workers instead.
Only 11% of hotels increased wages to keep existing employees and recruited new workers.