11/30/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/29/2021 20:08
Travellers walk at Don Mueang International Airport as the country reopens its borders to vaccinated tourists in Chiang Mai, Thailand November 23, 2021. Picture taken November 23, 2021. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Thailand was among the first countries in Asia to reopen for foreign arrivals, and it is seeing a slow recovery, including new hotels touting longer stays for individual travellers.
In the first 10 months of 2021, Thailand saw 106,117 foreign tourists, a drop from 6.7 million in 2020. Before the pandemic, Thailand saw about 40 million visitors a year.
"About 70% of total bookings came from Europe, including Germany, UK, Scandinavian countries, followed by the U.S., Middle East, and Asia," chief executive Wallapa Traisorat told Reuters, adding that domestic travel helped. "For November, we should see 30% occupancy, and in the fourth quarter we hope to see better momentum from the reopening."
Thailand, one of the region's most popular destinations, is heavily dependent on tourism. In 2019, 40 million arrivals spent 1.91 trillion baht ($57.3 billion).
Centara Hotels and Resorts (CENTEL.BK) is moving ahead with plans to open a 1.1 billion baht hotel on the island of Samui in December.
Initially the property expects most guests to be locals on longer stays, said Centara Hotels chief financial officer Gun Srisompong.
"Demand patterns have changed. Individual travellers on longer stays and 'workations' need more personalisation," Srisompong said.