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Phuket tourism going down the pan just like Pattaya: Few tourists and much worse than last year


webfact

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Phuket tourism going down the pan just like Pattaya: Few tourists and much worse than last year
 
1pm.jpg
Thai Caption: The crux of the matter: Why tourism is going down the pan
 
Thai media has painted a grim picture of tourism in southern Thailand, particularly Phuket.
 
Quoting a leading hotelier Manager said it was obvious that tourism in Phuket was going down the pan. 
 
Manager said that it was obvious to anyone that tourism had been in decline for years with less tourists and less revenue - but why was this?
 
They turned to Kongsak Phupongsakorn for answers. He is head of the Thai Hoteliers' Association for Southern Thailand. 
 
While accepting that June was always the worst month for tourism with it being low season Kongsak said that this year was terrible. 
 
Just as in reports about Pattaya yesterday when a tourism official there pointed at a 20-30% reduction year on year for June, Kongsak reported similar figures. 
 
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Picture: Manager Online
 
"Compared to last year tourism is down 20-30%," he lamented. 
 
There are hopes that in July Asian and Australian travelers will take up some of the slack. But that is all they are - hopes. Most people are expecting July to be just as bad as June. 
 
Kongsak gave a number of reasons such as the sluggish world economy that sees people travelling less and spending less.
 
It is not just Europeans feeling the pinch with their poor economies but Asians are affected too. 
 
The trade war between the US and China is also affecting investment. Investors as well as tourists themselves are running scared. 
 
Kongsak - unusually for such a report also laid the blame for the situation in Phuket fairly and squarely with the Thais themselves. 
 
He said that the the unpredictable and unclear political situation was scaring people. Continuing uncertainty and the long process in forming a new government has been terrible for tourism. 
 
Not just that - this has led to a lack of coherent policy regarding tourism.
 
Then Manager - printing in bold in their report - came to more admissions about the Thais' failings. 
 
Safety. 
 
Kongsak said that safety concerns of tourists had not been properly addressed leading to a lack of confidence. The Phoenix boat tragedy and response was clearly up front in his mind. 
 
For years the tourist market in Phuket saw sustained growth that promoted a building boom of hotels. But the increase - that saw tourism rise from 9 million visitors a year to 14 million within five years - has not been maintained. 
 
Hotels with new facilities have no guests to fill them and investors are not getting expected returns. More rooms and more restaurants has meant far more competition.
 
He said that in an effort to woo what small number of tourists there are hotels in Phuket are offering rooms at up to 50% less than they did in the low season last year. 
 
Source: Manager Online
 
 
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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2019-07-12
 
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And a way to strong Baht. Thailand used to be an affordable country for holidays. Not anymore as the Baht is way too strong. And that is also for the Export. Just look at the price for rice, and the declining of that as export as well. And Toyota making an assembly factory for HiLux in Myanmar, as they lose money on every assembled car in Thailand. Just saying.

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My feeling, and I admit I have no proof, is that the baht is being artificially propped up, but have no idea why. If it is, eventually it will crash, and the economic shockwave will have the power of a tsunami throughout Thailand. 

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Number of Chinese is way down, and that's a good thing unless you run a business based solely on catering to the Chinese.  I really don't feel sorry for all the latex shops though, they fleeced enough Chinese to carry them through this rough patch.

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49 minutes ago, webfact said:

The trade war between the US and China is also affecting investment. Investors as well as tourists themselves are running scared. 

no they are not. 💩

49 minutes ago, webfact said:

Kongsak gave a number of reasons such as the sluggish world economy that sees people travelling less and spending less.

DOW 27,000

49 minutes ago, webfact said:

Kongsak said that safety concerns of tourists had not been properly addressed leading to a lack of confidence.

you think?

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7 minutes ago, Just1Voice said:

My feeling, and I admit I have no proof, is that the baht is being artificially propped up, but have no idea why. If it is, eventually it will crash, and the economic shockwave will have the power of a tsunami throughout Thailand. 

because the rich want to buy assets out of Thailand, the strong baht assists that.  I imagine that the elite are racking up a lot of property outside the country. 

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Chickens as they say, always come home to roost. Does the blame for dramatically lower numbers lie solely with the locals? You have to say yes. For too long Thailand has treated its tourists as little more than an ATM, to be taken for as much as possible, while giving as little as possible in return. Too many have gone home reporting bad experiences, and more than a few in a box, while the strength of the Baht makes it more and more an expensive option. I don't see any return to the glory days any time soon, as there are simply too many problems which the Thais seem incapable of addressing properly.

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13 minutes ago, darksidedog said:

Chickens as they say, always come home to roost. Does the blame for dramatically lower numbers lie solely with the locals? You have to say yes. For too long Thailand has treated its tourists as little more than an ATM, to be taken for as much as possible, while giving as little as possible in return. Too many have gone home reporting bad experiences, while the strength of the Baht makes it more and more an expensive option. I don't see any return to the glory days any time soon, as there are simply too many problems which the Thais seem incapable of addressing properly.

Yes to all that, but on balance, I see no difference in terms of ripping off tourists here than say Spain, Cyprus, Malta,  most Caribbean islands. It goes on everywhere. 

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15 minutes ago, darksidedog said:

For too long Thailand has treated its tourists as little more than an ATM,

Yep, I stopped having holidays in Thailand a few years back. I spend the minimum possible money living here now, but so far this year I've had holidays in Saigon (x2), Phnom Penh and Da Nang. That was money I would have previously spent in Thai beach resorts.

 

As for prices, return flight CNX to Da Nang 2,300bht, bus from the airport to the town 25c, hotel 100m from the beach $15/night, the beach was clean, nobody selling, and the water was clear. Way cheaper than Phuket.

 

beach day.jpg

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58 minutes ago, webfact said:
"Compared to last year tourism is down 20-30%," he lamented. 
 

Easy! Time to put prices up 20-30% to compensate for the shortfall!

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Phuket was really the "Pearl of the south" when I first came there in the early 80's, today I would call it the black hole of the south, over built, traffic jams similar to Bangkoks and dirty water on the beaches. They only got them selves and their never ending greed to blame.

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10 minutes ago, darksidedog said:

Chickens as they say, always come home to roost. Does the blame for dramatically lower numbers lie solely with the locals? You have to say yes. For too long Thailand has treated its tourists as little more than an ATM, to be taken for as much as possible, while giving as little as possible in return. Too many have gone home reporting bad experiences, and more than a few in a box, while the strength of the Baht makes it more and more an expensive option. I don't see any return to the glory days any time soon, as there are simply too many problems which the Thais seem incapable of addressing properly.

First it was Europeans, then Chinese, now Indians. Wait till they discover the potential of tourists from the north and south pole!

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15 minutes ago, darksidedog said:

Chickens as they say, always come home to roost. Does the blame for dramatically lower numbers lie solely with the locals? You have to say yes. For too long Thailand has treated its tourists as little more than an ATM, to be taken for as much as possible, while giving as little as possible in return. Too many have gone home reporting bad experiences, and more than a few in a box, while the strength of the Baht makes it more and more an expensive option. I don't see any return to the glory days any time soon, as there are simply too many problems which the Thais are incapable of addressing properly.

I am a long term expat and I take frequent holidays to Jakarta to have fun instead of locally . 

 

Why?

 

Because I am tired of having to pay top money for crap service, put up with crap English and bad attitude.

 

In Jakarta , I pay less, female company speaks good enough English, no sisters or brothers calling for her to go fast, no mobile phone that she must play with , I do not hear sad stories about sick mother or father and I get exactly what we agreed.

 

Taxi, grab, dirt cheap. Food just as cheap, and no one annoying you to buy some crap while you out , no hassles with police and friendly immigration 

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It's also about time a taxi driver returned the 5 million baht left in his taxi to it's rightful owner to show the stellar integrity of all things Thai!

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The strength of the Thai Baht is not "artificial".

The reason it is so high is because:-

Increasing foreign exchange reserves.

Low inflation rate.

Low unemployment.

Resilient economy.

Concern about European economies (their currencies losing value).

 

The Thai Central Bank has the same job as other Central banks; to keep inflation in check. This is why they have very limited options with regard to the exchange rate.

 

The foreign exchange market is far bigger than any single countries power to influence their own currency.

Britain tried to support Sterling in 1993, but, still crashed out of the ERM.

Thailand tried to do the same in 1997 and spent most of their foreign currency reserves.

In both cases, it was the foreign exchange market that determined the outcome.

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29 minutes ago, Just1Voice said:

My feeling, and I admit I have no proof, is that the baht is being artificially propped up, but have no idea why. If it is, eventually it will crash, and the economic shockwave will have the power of a tsunami throughout Thailand. 

I think the reason for it staying high is to make Thailand look better economically than it really is and the powers to be would lose face . but to get the export trade and tourism back up would be to actually allow the baht to fall to where it should be and stop over inflating estimates including the numbers using the airport without saying what amount are transiting through .

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Tourism numbers have doubled in the last 9 years, 19M to 38M.  A 30% drop is disturbing, but in reality there has been a 70% increase during the last 9 years.  World population has increased just 15% during the last 9 years, so Thailand tourism is doing OK statistically I would think.  

Where money is spent by tourists is another thing.  Hotels that are built for the wealthy, restaurants catering to wealthy tourists, shopping malls charging more than the USA for goods and services,  those are problems with business investors who are greedy and were just wrong about what average tourists want or need.   

To me the problem here is infrastructure and no effort to keep cities and tourist beach areas clean and green, like Singapore or Taiwan. 

Tourism can support a combination of red light/entertainment areas, shopping malls, family/ entertainment areas, and beaches.  Yet with all the VAT being paid in Thailand , you still have tourist areas riddled with garbage, broken sidewalks, and polluted beaches - to me it just shows that Thai people have no pride (other than the Wats - very clean and well kept - 55)

 

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30 minutes ago, Thechook said:

Way to expensive now and the military can't see that their over inflated baht is killing them.

The bar girls definitely can see it, in Pattaya anyway. They collectively hate their govt and wish Taksin could come back.

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Yes, we tourists are running scared as claimed in the article - but due to the security in Thailand. Was in Phuket with family 3 weeks ago, and it was very quiet and the five star hotel chain execs told my wife (she is an exec of that company) behind closed doors about a very weak season comparable to the number presented in this article. Shops are closing along the main and side streets. The tourists I saw at the 5 star resort were good quality tourists, no Chinese to be seen, and could not see many Chinese roaming the shopping streets either. It was very quiet. Loved it. I could swim almost alone in the garbage pool called the sea, ocean, filled with plastics and bottles.

 

With the strong baht, weak security and appalling attitude towards cash cows / tourists, we are looking for trips to Vietnam and Japan instead of Thai destinations. Thailand is out, boring, soo yesterday. In my home country in northern Europe people don't talk much about Thailand anymore, it's Vietnam, Bahamas and other 'new' destinations for Northern Europeans - there is a lot more variety to choose from. The flights to Bkk are quite full though.

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5 minutes ago, yogi100 said:

The bar girls definitely can see it, in Pattaya anyway. They collectively hate their govt and wish Taksin could come back.

As I understand it's the street vendors, motorcycle taxis and other laborers who love the junta. Gonna Make Thailand Strong Again, and increase everyone's income.

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23 minutes ago, BestB said:

I am a long term expat and I take frequent holidays to Jakarta to have fun instead of locally . 

 

Why?

 

Because I am tired of having to pay top money for crap service, put up with crap English and bad attitude.

 

In Jakarta , I pay less, female company speaks good enough English, no sisters or brothers calling for her to go fast, no mobile phone that she must play with , I do not hear sad stories about sick mother or father and I get exactly what we agreed.

 

I do that now because flying somewhere etc is as easy as domestic travel, both times i have to deal with tm30 shit so we no longer go to islands on the weekend and just fly somewhere once a month instead. Have to do only one tm30 instead of 4 then. They don't want me traveling here freely, ok they don't get my money anymore.

 

It's just one of the many many many stupid things that stop me from wasting my money here...

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But, let´s see now! It´s not only in Pattaya?! Can it be so bad that it´s all over Thailand? Oh dear! Now I must make a little, but quick calculation for the BoT.

Around 38 million tourists per year. 30% off is close to 12 mjillion tourists. Let´s say the avarage tourist spend a measly 30k baht while beeing in the country.

That will add up to 360 billion baht, and that´s only the start as a gift to the country for overvaluing the baht. After that we have the cunsumer index regarding the spending power. All the loans that goes over the populations heads and a baisse in the export sector. Let´s just say minimum a couple of trillions of baht down the drain.

 

After that you start to add the difference in attitude and welcoming. The overgrown corruption and lowered personal safety for all visitors at the same time they shall smile and be happy to be ripped of by the first available driver. Yep, that´s a perfect composition for disaster, and the thing is. All out of stimulus, right?

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I think the overwhelming factor is the us/China trade war is causing a massive slowdown in China. So less Chinese tourists.

 

The strong baht is having an effect on European tourism simply because Thailand is no longer a cheap tourist destination for them. Thailand is now price competitive with European, US, South American, Caribbean destinations so if Europeans are going to spend that much money then Thailand is just another option with no huge advantage.

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4 minutes ago, somtumwrong said:

Yes, we tourists are running scared as claimed in the article - but due to the security in Thailand. Was in Phuket with family 3 weeks ago, and it was very quiet and the five star hotel chain execs told my wife (she is an exec of that company) behind closed doors about a very weak season comparable to the number presented in this article. Shops are closing along the main and side streets. The tourists I saw at the 5 star resort were good quality tourists, no Chinese to be seen, and could not see many Chinese roaming the shopping streets either. It was very quiet. Loved it. I could swim almost alone in the garbage pool called the sea, ocean, filled with plastics and bottles.

 

With the strong baht, weak security and appalling attitude towards cash cows / tourists, we are looking for trips to Vietnam and Japan instead of Thai destinations. Thailand is out, boring, soo yesterday. In my home country in northern Europe people don't talk much about Thailand anymore, it's Vietnam, Bahamas and other 'new' destinations for Northern Europeans - there is a lot more variety to choose from. The flights to Bkk are quite full though.

"The flights to Bkk are quite full though."

 

Although the topic is about Phuket I've visited Pattaya every year since 1999 and this low season is about as quiet as I've even seen it.

 

A couple of my chums who are also regular visitors and have recently arrived also said that their panes were practically full. The industrial action recently taken by Eva Air staff surely can't have accounted for it.

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lets be honest anyone with half a brain and 2 eyes can have seen this trend developing for a couple of years its just been covered up by all the TAT figures comparing 1 week "tour"ists to month+ long european visitors.

 

now the asian gravy chain of chinese is slowing down the tide is receding and those naked are being revealed.

 

no doubt another visa fee waiver will fix everything!

 

 

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5 minutes ago, shackleton said:

Maybe the tourists after reading about the rip offs scams ect have decided  there is more to Thailand than Phuket and Pattaya  

Like where? Where talking fun holiday family etc.

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I'm not surprised the numbers are down.

 

The Chinese heard the bad publicity from the boat accident and Prawit's stupid remarks afterwards. I don't think the trade war with the US is helping either.

 

For Europeans I think there are better options. Why sit on a 12 hour flight to Thailand, queue up at immigration for an hour and then ride in a taxi with no seatbelts when you can hop on a cheap 2-3 hour flight and have better beaches and cheaper prices in Spain? While I was on holiday in the UK a couple of years back I hopped over to a place near Valencia for 5 days, the food and drink was much cheaper and better quality than Thailand. The beaches were cleaner and the roads were safer. The weather was nicer as well, high 20's instead of high 30's. The flight was about a hundred quid from my home town. If I was living in the UK I'd be running out of reasons to visit Thailand. 

 

I think the main attraction of Thailand was the cheap prices and the friendly locals. It's not really cheap any more and the locals aren't really that friendly. If/when my job here comes to an end, I'll keep a base here but I'll be spending a lot more of my time and money in other places. I'm not bashing, it's just how I see it.

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And as of Today every german newspapers frontpage is about the german girl that got raped and killed on Ko Si Chang and the death sentence the killer got. RIP.

 

Constant bad news like this make many people think twice about coming here.

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