A much-needed wave of travellers is set to arrive at the doors of Thailand’s accommodation businesses during the upcoming Songkran festival, data by SiteMinder, a global hotel industry guest acquisition platform, showed on Thursday.
SiteMinder’s World Hotel Index shows that guest arrivals for the Thai New Year holidays represent more than 24 per cent of all hotel guest arrivals expected over the next 12 months.
The visible spike in arrivals follows the government’s extension of the holiday to six days to stimulate nationwide tourism and accommodate those travelling to their hometowns across the country.
Already, the wave of travellers has helped to accelerate Thailand’s hotel booking momentum, the index showed. Since February 1, hotel bookings have risen from below 25 per cent of 2019 levels to almost 50 per cent – only one per cent below the global average.
“The steady rise of year-over-year hotel bookings in Thailand that we have seen due to the Songkran festival has been very encouraging,” said Bradley Haines, regional vice president of Asia Pacific at SiteMinder.
“It’s pleasing to see the government actively creating an environment so encouraging of domestic travel. Until international travel meaningfully recommences, it’s these types of events that will allow local hotels to continue to provide viable options for Thai travellers in the months ahead,” he added.
Thailand, which has historically relied on international travellers for approximately 70 per cent of its booked hotel stays, has increasingly depended on domestic holidaymakers since the pandemic began. More than 86 per cent of bookings made for Thai hotels in March have been by Thai locals, compared to just 34 per cent in April 2019.