Data from STR Global, a leading provider of market
information to the global hotel industry, highlights the plight of local
markets in Thailand and puts the effect of the country’s recent
political disruption into a regional context.
The ongoing political unrest in Bangkok has
severely affected the country's hospitality industry, which
already has to deal with worsening global economic conditions, and
now concerns of a possible swine flu pandemic.
Over the five months from November 2008 to
March 2009, the four Thai markets tracked by STR Global have
reported monthly declines of more than 30% in revenue per
available room (RevPAR) against the comparable period the previous
The falls in RevPAR were driven by declining
occupancy levels that were not matched by similar declines in
average room rates.
"It is reassuring to see that average room
rates declined significantly less than occupancy, and RevPAR
should be able to start improving as soon as occupancy and travel
demand recovers,” said Singapore-based Jonas Ogren, area director
Asia for STR Global.
5-month performance of selected Thai markets
(November 08 to March 09) and percentage change to prior
||change ADR % change
|| RevPAR % change
|Source: STR Global
The recent protests in April 2009,
combined with the airport closures in 2008 as well as foreign
governments’ travel advisories have made visitors much more wary
of the destination.
The market reaction has been swift. Demand
in Bangkok in the middle of April has rapidly fallen by more than
half of that of the previous year, down to as little as 33% on
Despite such low occupancies, hoteliers are
holding their rates as best they can with year on year declines of
4% and an average rate of THB 3,323 for the first three weeks of
The result of this relative firmness in
rate is that the city's RevPAR decline remains similar to that for
the November-to-March period.
However, taking a longer-term perspective data
from STR Global shows that Thailand has been underperforming the
southeast Asian market as a whole since September 2006, the time
of the most recent official military coup. The percentage
change in year-on-year RevPAR for Thailand has been consistently
worse than that for the region since then.
“These are challenging times for Thailand’s
hotel market, and this is reflected in the volatility of actual
RevPAR in U.S.-dollar terms for the country compared with
southeast Asia,” said Ogren of the RevPAR range (lowest to
highest) of US$71.79 for Thailand and US$23.75 for southeast Asia
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