A month after reopening, Thailand sees gradual tourism recovery By Reuters

© Reuters. An AirAsia airplane is seen on the airport of standard vacationer vacation spot Chiang Mai, because the nation reopens its borders to vaccinated vacationers in Bangkok, Thailand November 16, 2021. Picture taken on November 16, 2021. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun


By Chayut Setboonsarng and Jiraporn Kuhakan

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand was among the many first international locations in Asia to reopen for international arrivals, and it’s seeing a sluggish recovery, together with new motels touting longer stays for particular person travellers.

In the primary 10 months of 2021, Thailand noticed 106,117 international vacationers, a drop from 6.7 million in 2020. Before the pandemic, Thailand noticed about 40 million guests a 12 months.

Hospitality corporations like Asset World Corporation Pcl, which opened its 19th property this month, noticed the vast majority of its bookings come from Western international locations and the Middle East.

“About 70% of total bookings came from Europe, including Germany, UK, Scandinavian countries, followed by the U.S., Middle East, and Asia,” chief government Wallapa Traisorat advised Reuters, including that home journey 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 many area’s hottest locations, is closely depending on tourism. In 2019, 40 million arrivals spent 1.91 trillion baht ($57.three billion).

Centara Hotels and Resorts is transferring forward with plans to open a 1.1 billion baht lodge on the island of Samui in December.

Initially the property expects most visitors to be locals on longer stays, mentioned Centara Hotels chief monetary officer Gun Srisompong.

“Demand patterns have changed. Individual travellers on longer stays and ‘workations’ need more personalisation,” Srisompong mentioned.

Thailand expects solely 200,000 international vacationers this 12 months, and 5 million in 2022.

Thinner crowds and reductions made for a extra nice expertise, mentioned German vacationer Markus Klarer.

“It’s a good time to come back to Thailand again,” Klarer mentioned.

Despite the reopening, some companies mentioned COVID guidelines nonetheless made some issues exhausting.

“Tourists are not fully confident and still confused with government regulations,” mentioned Chitchai Senwong, a restaurant supervisor in Bangkok, citing a authorities rule that prohibits alcohol consumption after 9 p.m.

($1 = 33.34 baht)

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