© Reuters. An AirAsia plane is seen at the airport of popular tourist destination Chiang Mai, as the country reopens its borders to fortified tourists in Bangkok, Thailand, November 16, 2021. Photo taken November 16, 2021. REUTERS/Soi Zia Tun
By Chayut Setboonsarng and Jiraporn Kuhakan
BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand was among the first countries in Asia to reopen to foreign arrivals, and is seeing a slow recovery, including new hotels promoting longer stays for individual travelers.
In the first 10 months of 2021, Thailand saw 106,117 foreign tourists https://www.reuters.com/markets/rates-bonds/thailand-has-over-20000-foreign-visitors-oct-after-gradual-reopening-2021 -11-23, down from 6.7 million in 2020. Before the pandemic, Thailand saw about 40 million visitors annually.
Hospitality companies such as Asset World Corporation Pcl, which opened its 19th venue https://www.reuters.com/markets/asia/thailands-awc-targets-luxury-long-stays-tourism-recovery-2021-11-22 this month She saw that the majority of her bookings come from Western countries and the Middle East.
“About 70% of all bookings came from Europe, including Germany, the UK and Scandinavia, followed by the US, the Middle East and Asia,” CEO Walaba Trisurat told Reuters, adding that domestic travel helped. “For November, we should see 30% occupancy, and in the fourth quarter we hope to see better momentum from reopening.”
Thailand, one of the most popular destinations in the region, relies heavily on tourism. In 2019, 40 million immigrants spent 1.91 trillion baht ($57.3 billion).
Centara Hotels & Resorts is pressing ahead with plans to open a 1.1 billion baht hotel on Samui in December.
Initially, the property expects most guests to be locals for longer stays, according to Centara Hotels’ Chief Financial Officer, Gun Srisompong.
“Demand patterns have changed. Individual travelers staying longer and ‘business’ need more customisation,” Srisompong said.
Thailand expects only 200,000 foreign tourists this year, and 5 million in 2022.
German tourist Markus Klarer said the weak crowds and discounts made for a more enjoyable experience.
“It’s a good time to be back in Thailand again,” Clarer said.
Despite the reopening, some businesses said COVID rules still make some things difficult.
“Tourists are not completely confident and are still confused with government regulations,” said Chichai Sinong, a restaurant manager in Bangkok, referring to a government rule that prohibits the consumption of alcohol after 9 p.m.
($1 = 33.34 baht)
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