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Top Thai hotelier speaks of looming price war

January 27, 2014 Destination Thailand, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59The only war to flow from the current turmoil in Thailand looks set to be a hotel price war.

The continuing anti-government protests in Bangkok are depressing hotel occupancies, affecting business travel bookings and forcing airlines to review capacity.

The protests began last November at the start of the high season. Some hoteliers forecast that when the unrest is resolved and hotel occupancies again start to climb, hoteliers will probably use pricing in a bid to carve bigger market share.

The Bangkok Post quoted Chanin Donavanik, chief executive of the Dusit International hotel chain, saying that the industry, particularly in Bangkok, faced a price war after political problems were solved. Coles-Training_250X250px

If the impasse is prolonged beyond this week, Chanin said, hotels in Bangkok would see their room rates “plunge dramatically, especially the rates quoted by international travel agents”.

Chanin told the paper that occupancies at the group’s flagship property, Dusit Thani Bangkok, stood at 20% last Thursday, compared to the usual 80% at this time of year.

Looking beyond the turmoil, Chanin expects official promotions will be launched to attract tourists back, but he says hoteliers are almost certain to “play with pricing”.

Dusit had expected 2014 to turn into the best year for the hotel and tourism business since 2008, Chanin disclosed, with average hotel room rates climbing smoothly.

That hope appeared to have been dashed.

A worst-case scenario, if the protests do not end by early March, would see the problem hitting hoteliers attending ITB Berlin 2014, 5-9 March 2014.

Dusit International has over 22 hotel properties located in Thailand and beyond. Dusit International comprises five hotel brands: Dusit Thani Hotels & Resorts, Dusit’s second generation dusitD2 hotels & resorts, Dusit Princess Hotel & Resorts, Dusit Devarana Hotels & Resorts, and Dusit Residence Serviced Apartments. It also operates its own signature Devarana Spa.

Written by : Peter Needham

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