Published on : Saturday, February 29, 2020
Tourism businesses have been left exhausted by the virus panic spreading around Thailand, while the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) reduced its estimate for international arrivals to 33 million this year.
The Association of Thai Travel Agents (Atta) reported that foreign tourists using Atta member services from January to Feb 20 was 500,232, marking a decrease of 40.7%. During Feb 1-20, the numbers dipped 74.1% to 90,908 tourists.
Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA) said that Thai outbound travelers may well drop to 8-9 million from 11 million last year if the virus continues to impact throughout the year.
Domestic tourism is unstable with hoteliers experienceing weaker demand from corporate meetings and seminars that were cancelled with mounting virus fears.
Suksit Suvunditkul, the chief executive of Deevana Hotels and Resorts and vice-president of the Thai Hotels Association’s southern chapter, said that hotels are witnessing more cancellations from government agencies and private companies like banks.
The destinations targeting the meeting and incentive market like Krabi have an occupancy rate of around 65%, down from 85-90% in a normal situation, while hotels in Phuket witnessed guests drop by 80%.
“We’re waiting for the cabinet meeting on March 3. If the government doesn’t come up with effective measures, operators have to gather to create more pressure,” said Chairat Trirattanajarasporn, the president of the Tourism Council of Thailand.