Hotels upbeat despite woes
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Hotels upbeat despite woes

Demonstrators protesting outside the Thai parliament on Wednesday.
Demonstrators protesting outside the Thai parliament on Wednesday.

Thailand's big hotel chains continue to be undaunted by the political uncertainty, with a confident outlook in place as long as the situation remains calm and violent protests and crackdowns do not emerge.

Gun Srisompong, chief financial officer at Centara Hotels and Resorts (CHR), said the hotel business is typically reliant on a stable environment.

Mr Gun said violence can create a negative image of Thailand and affect foreign travellers' confidence, as overseas governments issue warnings to their citizens.

At the moment, CHR's properties have not seen cancellations or slower bookings due to the political situation.

The company expects 10.8 billion baht in revenue this year, exceeding the level recorded in 2019, which has been driven by rising travel demand, Mr Gun said.

Since the beginning of the year, hotels in major locations, including Thailand, saw 78% and 60% occupancy rates in the first and second quarters, respectively, while Dubai outshined others with an 80% occupancy rate over the two quarters.

Mr Gun said the company hopes the new government will take office as soon as possible and launch relevant measures to help the industry, such as subsidising electricity.

Dillip Rajakarier, group chief executive of Minor International Plc and chief executive of Minor Hotels, said the tourism sector was able to rebound strongly from political turmoil or even coups in recent decades.

Speaking at an online conference organised by Bangkok Bank and Permata Bank, Mr Rajakarier said Minor Hotels noticed strong booking growth over the past few weeks, despite intense domestic politics, geopolitical conflicts and inflation.

He said hotels have to keep promoting their destination to draw more tourists to Thailand or other countries.

"The positive thing is that people love Thailand," said Mr Rajakarier. "We are still one of the top visited tourist destinations in the world."

He said that since most political parties prioritise tourism in their economic agenda, hopefully Thailand would see a positive momentum carrying on throughout the year.

Minor Hotels operates more than 530 hotels in 56 countries under eight brands.

During the first quarter of this year, the average daily rate of its overseas properties and Thai hotels exceeded the 2019 level by 24% and 14%, respectively. The average occupancy in Thailand tallied 71% in the first half.

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