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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
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    Phuket - High-season tourism outlook bleak: PTA

    High-season tourism outlook bleak: PTA

    PHUKET CITY: Despite a large drop in fuel prices internationally, the outlook for this year’s high season for tourism remains bleak, a top tourism industry leader has said.

    Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) Vice-President Bhuritt Maswongsa told the Gazette that current occupancy rates and advanced bookings from now until the end of the year should result in an island-wide average occupancy rate of about 55% compared to 80% for the same period last year.

    Mr Bhuritt, who is General Manager of the Patong Beach Resort, said the main cause for the downturn was a drop in the number of arrivals from Phuket’s traditional “bread-and-butter” market: Europe.

    Security fears resulting from the ongoing political turmoil in the capital and global economics have combined to keep the Europeans away, he said.

    “Many countries still have travel advisories in effect, warning tourist not to visit areas where pro- and anti-government demonstrations are taking place. Also, the economic crisis in the US and Europe has caused potential tourists to delay or cancel their travel plans in order to save money,” he said.

    “I expect that many hotels and resorts will be forced to lay off staff around the middle of next year. Another reason for the lower occupancy rate is probably due to an oversupply situation in the number of hotel rooms,” he added.

    In Patong alone, the number of hotel rooms registered with the Tourism Authority of Thailand grew from 9,919 in 2005 to 12,962 by September this year, which is an increase of over 30%.

    Similar increases in the number of rooms available at hotels, resorts and rental villas have taken place in many other parts of the island.

    The PTA and the government will launch a road show to China in mid-December in a bid to lure in more tourists from that country, he said.

    Phuket Gazette

  2. #2
    Mid
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    Banyan Tree shows concerns in Thai politics
    Thu, November 13, 2008 : Last updated 21:20 hours

    Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd, a leading manager and developer of premium hotels and resorts listed in Singapore, witnessed a 51 per cent decrease in third-quarter operating profit to S$9.2 million mainly due to political turmoil in Thailand.

    "The political turmoil in Thailand which resulted in street demonstrations in Bangkok and also closure of Phuket Airport over a weekend in August has affected travel to the country in the third quarter.

    This was compounded by the fact that 3rd quarter is the shoulder season of the year," Ho KwonPing, executive chairman of Banyan Tree, said in a statement issued on Thursday.

    "We are closely monitoring the Thai political situation and given the increased deterioration of the global financial situation, we are approaching the high season at the end of this year more cautiously."

    In September, anti-government protesters blocked Phuket International Airport and many countries issued travel warnings on fear of escalating violence.

    In September, anti-government protesters blocked Phuket International Airport and many countries issued travel warnings on fear of escalating violence.

    Operating profit for the nine months was 17 per cent ahead to S$82.9 million, largely driven by its Hotel Residences segment.

    The group said the outlook is unclear given the increased deterioration of the global financial situation and a period of great uncertainties. The political turmoil in Thailand, if protracted, may have a significant impact on the group, especially if accessibility to its properties are hindered or travel advisories are issued by countries of our key guest markets.

    "We are closely monitoring the Thai political situation and the general global outlook as we approach the high season at the end of the year. As of now, the hotel's on the book ("OTB") rooms revenue for 4th quarter for Banyan Tree/Angsana Resorts outside Thailand is still healthy at 45 per cent higher than the same period last year," Ho said.

    OTB for hotels in Thailand however is 19 per cent lower and overall OTB is 4 per cent higher than the same period last year.

    nationmultimedia.com

  3. #3
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    Talked to someone last week (Thai) who was noting the irony that those in Phuket bankrolling the local PAD chapter had basically shot themselves in the foot by doing so... no tourists are coming, and industry is suffering. I can personally attest to it. This month is generally the beginning of the high season where I work. Not so at the moment. September and October, instead of seeing increasing numbers, were progressively quieter and quieter. Bread and butter where I work are the foreign tourists. Without them, it's a ghost town. There's a hiring freeze, and now talk of cutting bonuses (and it's only November...). We'll see what happens, I suppose, but it looks like everybody's dire predictions for a very quiet high season are accurate. And all the while you have the gov't tools out there saying that everything is fine and tourism is going up, up, up.

  4. #4
    bkkandrew
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    Sterling buying just 51.7 baht doesn't help...

  5. #5
    ding ding ding
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkkandrew
    Sterling buying just 51.7 baht doesn't help...
    Just three months ago you got 25% more bang for you quid at 64.6 baht to the pound. linky

  6. #6
    I am in Jail

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    Thailand needs to cool off ... got too expensive resulting in poor value. Thais failed to realize people who spend more money want better service, not Thai culture aka "take it or leave it farang". These people have more options and are smart enough to find good value. The mongers will always come and many know the scene well enough to keep costs down. Higher end tourists will just go else where.

  7. #7
    bkkandrew
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    ^^NY trading has taken the pound to 1.457 against the USD and consequently 51.25 against THB.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat Texpat's Avatar
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    I agree.

    Inflation and forex have served to crush the good value Thailand enjoyed just a few years ago. My father visited last year for a month, when the greenback was worth around 33B. After listening to me tell him how cheap things were in Thailand over the previous few years (40B-45B), he compared prices of many, many things: Farang food, golf clubs, hotels, gasoline, hardware, cars, shoes, clothes, insurance ...

    His conclusion was that it's not cheaper in Thailand, and many items that Thai consider luxury, but he considers indispensable, are far more here than in the US (Fla).

    Any value in Thailand is found at the very bottom, survival-level existence. A bag of vegetables, a dusty sidewalk eatery with plastic plates and chairs, a 5-gal bottle of water ... Any step up from the most basic, is often acompanied by outrageous prices which quickly push it out of the range of good value. Double glazed windows, leather seats in a car, riding lawn mower ...

  9. #9
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    With news like this (see link), I think tourism around the world will be effected, not just here in Thailand. People are worried and may not want to spend money at this time on vacations.

    Link: http://www.forbes.com/opinions/2008/11/12/recession-global-economy-oped-cx_nr_1113roubini.html
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

  10. #10
    bkkandrew
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    ^^Quite so Tex. Tonight I spent B140 on a whole chicken roasted on a spit in my soi. It was delicious, glazed in a honey sauce.

    The identical item can be purchased in any UK supermarket at the same price at today's exchange rate. And factor into that the on-costs of a supermarket.

    So you are correct, the 'value' aspect of Thailand has simply disappeared.

  11. #11
    សុខសប្បាយ
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    Prices here have skyrocketed in the last few months, and it will only get worse as the global slowdown and strong Baht affects Thailand more and more. In my local supermarket prices on many items have doubled in the last two months. The only savings I am making are on petrol, as that has almost halved in price recently.
    Mortals you defy the Gods, I sentence you to travel among unknown stars, until you find the Kingdom of Hades, your bodies will stay as lifeless as stone.

  12. #12
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    and when Malaysia is advertising it has everything thailand does , but no sleaze or violence.

  13. #13
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    things are very bad here in the uk
    and its just beginning
    you guys that rely on tourists better forget it
    everythings going pear shaped

    a collapse of the banking system
    its a nightmare

  14. #14
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    It does not help when you get events such as this week:

    Monday - Announcements made that Thailand is a safe place to visit.

    Tuesday - Prime Minister warns of possible bomb attacks on Wednesday at Loy Krathong festival - avoid large crowds

  15. #15
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    Its quite easy to be blind to the price of things when you dont think about the exchange. 100 baht notes are basically 2 notes, the wife doesnt see it that way "its only 100bt" or "its only 500bt". A few of these "only" prices add up to 20 or 30 quite easily.

    We did a small shop around Big C and spent 1500 baht, roughly 30. I could have got twice the amount in a UK supermarket.

    Phuket will suffer badly if people have the sense to check what prices are going to be beforehand or if theyve been before and roughly know the costs.
    The Geek Shall Inherit The Earth

  16. #16
    watterinja
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    ^ That's a neat way to look at the cost-of-living. I've always considered Thailand to be extremely expensive.

  17. #17
    bkkandrew
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    Quote Originally Posted by melvbot View Post
    Its quite easy to be blind to the price of things when you dont think about the exchange. 100 baht notes are basically 2 notes, the wife doesnt see it that way "its only 100bt" or "its only 500bt". A few of these "only" prices add up to 20 or 30 quite easily.

    We did a small shop around Big C and spent 1500 baht, roughly 30. I could have got twice the amount in a UK supermarket.

    Phuket will suffer badly if people have the sense to check what prices are going to be beforehand or if theyve been before and roughly know the costs.
    Quite. What brought it home with the latest Sterling drop was that the beer in the bar which was around 1 (B80) has now gone up to B90 and is 'around' 2. Whichever way you look at it, tourists will not be crowing about how cheap it is to go out in Thailand!

    As an aside, I had some drinks in The Black Swan next to the Asoke Skytrain station recently. Heineken was B220 per pint. This works out at 4.30 per pint, which is 50% more than my local in the UK, more expensive that most places in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and on-par with a London pub.

  18. #18
    I am in Jail
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    “Many countries still have travel advisories in effect, warning tourist not to visit areas where pro- and anti-government demonstrations are taking place. Also, the economic crisis in the US and Europe has caused potential tourists to delay or cancel their travel plans in order to save money,” he said.

    After the Queen's pets blocked Phuket airport for three days what could they expect ? That's what you get when you grant impunity to criminals !

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkkandrew
    I spent B140 on a whole chicken roasted on a spit in my soi
    Blimey, that's a bit expensive. 105 up here.

  20. #20
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    Some of my relatives came to visit last month. Being the magnanimous asshole that I am, I decided to take them out and show them around, despite my busy schedule. Well, after years of me telling them how cheap it was (starting in about 2003), they finally bought tickets. What they found, unfortunately, was that things are really not that cheap at all. Previously, I had lived in smaller, out of the way, medium-sized cities where you could go out for a night, have a great time, and spend a ridiculously small sum of money, comparatively. Now that I live in Phuket, it's the opposite. It's not uncommon to go out and spend a large sum of money with relatively little to show for it.

    It's possible to live cheaply in Phuket. I shop at the produce markets, don't really do a lot of high-end stuff. But when people come to visit or come on holiday, they don't want to pinch pennies (aside from the soapdodging contingent, who see deprivation as some sort of notch on the rucksack). A night out on Patong cost me more than a night out back home, I shit you not. To my relatives on vacation, it wasn't that big a deal to go out and spend a hundred baht on a beer. To me, it was crazy. On a given night out in Patong, I can go through 4,000 baht easily, and this includes a semi-decent room and just food and booze. It ain't cheap. And what someome said previously was correct: if you're paying more money, you want (deserve) better service. If I pay 100 baht for a beer, it better be cold, first of all, be a good beer, secondly, and be served by someone who has a bit of an idea what is implied by the term "service." There are some well-run places in Phuket but the majority of them (those that cater to tourists) are offering nothing better than slightly cheaper or comparably-priced services with abysmal to decent service.

    Still, some people marvel at the prices of t-shirts and things like that. Great, if you want to buy a shitty shirt with a tired Diesel logo that's going to fall apart in two months. Hopefully the memories last longer.

  21. #21
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    I am starting to hear stories of long term people having to leave.
    their pensions just cant stretch anymore.
    if this slide continues many people living on the edge will have to up sticks.
    But to where?

  22. #22
    bkkandrew
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    Quote Originally Posted by killerbees View Post
    On a given night out in Patong, I can go through 4,000 baht easily, and this includes a semi-decent room and just food and booze.
    And that is 80 quid now.

  23. #23
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jandajoy
    Blimey, that's a bit expensive. 105 up here.
    We can still get them for 70 baht here
    Guess it depends on size and these are small

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    ???

    Quote Originally Posted by good2bhappy View Post
    I am starting to hear stories of long term people having to leave.
    their pensions just cant stretch anymore.
    if this slide continues many people living on the edge will have to up sticks.
    But to where?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkkandrew View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by killerbees View Post
    On a given night out in Patong, I can go through 4,000 baht easily, and this includes a semi-decent room and just food and booze.
    And that is 80 quid now.
    Live rates at 2008.11.14 06:21:10 UTC Notice: The THB rate shown below is the international rate. Rates used within Thailand may vary.4,000.00 THB

    =

    114.117 USD

    Thailand Baht United States Dollars 1 THB = 0.0285291 USD1 USD = 35.0519 THB


    I guess that's gone up since the last time I checked. It's been a while.

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