Pattaya hotels feeling the low season pinch
Pattaya currently boasts more than 100,000 registered hotel rooms, around 20,000 of them in legally registered hotels. These accommodations range from luxury beachfront resorts to budget hotels that cater to Chinese group tours priced at 800 baht per night including breakfast.
Thanes Suprarosrungsi, owner of Ravindra Beach Resort & Spa and executive director of Sunshine Hotel Group Pattaya, says hotel occupancy in Pattaya has returned to 60% of the total capacity of those 100,000 rooms. But, he adds, the number of tourists in the current low season, which runs through October, is still lower than the pre-Covid level. Flights have not fully resumed and even before, only 40-50% of the usual number of international tourists were coming from nearby markets such as China, India, and South Korea.
With the domestic tourism market made up mainly of seminar groups and those wanting to spend the weekend at the beach, he would like to see that government declare additional long weekends to stimulate travel.
Designing packages or implementing measures to support the SME tourism sector would also be beneficial, he said, adding that the 'We Travel Together' campaign had a significant impact, allowing Thai tourists to stay in luxury hotels or villas for just a few thousand baht, something they are no longer able to do due to the rising cost of living.
With current occupancy as low as 30-40%, hotel owners are hoping that the upcoming Pattaya Travel Mart 2023 will give business a much-needed boost.
Organised by the Chonburi Tourism Association, in collaboration with the Provincial Administration Organisation of Chonburi, Pattaya City, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and the tourism network, the Mart is being held at The Zign on July 20.
The event will bring together leading tourism business operators from Chonburi province, 106 as sellers and 156 as buyers, including tour companies from Cambodia and Vietnam, courtesy of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau and Indian tour companies through the Indian Embassy.
Pattaya mayor Witthaya Khunpluem said that Pattaya is ready to welcome travellers back, noting that the city offers world-class tourist destinations, accommodations of all price ranges, and professional service providers. Measures have been taken to ensure hygiene and safety standards, instilling confidence in travellers.
The Association of Chonburi Attractions president Wasan Temsiripong said that this event provides an opportunity for tourism operators to meet and update information from various tourist destinations and new establishments. This will lead to the development of more interesting travel programmes that cater to changing customer preferences.
Titipat Siripongsakul, chairman of the Chonburi Tourism Association advisory board and chairman of the Pattaya Travel Mart, is optimistic about the Mart, saying that the association had already been contacted by several foreign tour companies.