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Tourism in northern Thailand decimated: Worst in ten years say hoteliers

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Tourism in northern Thailand decimated: Worst in ten years say hoteliers

 

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File Photo//Wikipedia

 

Hoteliers in Chiang Mai are saying that tourism in the north of Thailand is now in its worst place in ten years. 

 

Booking for the next few months are 40% down on last year as Chinese and Middle Eastern customers reject Thailand for their holidays or simply stay home.

 

But the Tourism Authority of Thailand persist in putting a brave face on the gloom - they have come up with a "Green Card" that gives discounts and they predict a 10% RISE in Thai tourism. 

 

Thai media reported La-iat Bungsrithong of the Northern Thai Hoteliers Association as saying that normally in the rainy season bookings would be at 70 to 80% of capacity. 

 

But this year it is at 40%. Some 30% less Chinese people are showing up in Chiang Mai, she said. This is the worst it has been in the north in ten years.

 

Both small and large size hotels were struggling to stay afloat with a price war being waged to attract what tourists there are - rooms are being offered at 30-40% less than normal, she said. 

 

As an example of a high end 5 star price cut she cited the Rati Lanna Riverside Spa Resort as offering rooms for 6,000 baht reduced from 10,000 baht. 

 

On the plus side there were no signs of layoffs of staff - yet. 

 

Oversupply was a factor in the downturn, she said, with an extra 10,000 rooms added over the last few years. Now there are just not the tourists to fill them and give investors a return. 

 

Marketing manager at the Chiang Mai Orchid Hotel Watcharaporn Jongphaophan confirmed the bad news saying that bookings were 30% down and that rooms previously priced at 1,400 baht were now offered for 900 baht. 

 

There is also a group tour package for 9 rooms for 8,888 baht, she said. 

 

Meanwhile the TAT in the north have come up with a plan called the "Chiang Mai Green Card" (this refers to this part of the low season being called the 'green season' in the trade).

 

Available online the Green Card promises lots of discounts at participating establishments. Phakkanan Winitchai claimed that this initiative would boost tourism by 6.02% among Thais. 

 

And she said that spending would be up 10%. 

 

Vietjet were participating giving tourists 200 baht off - for the first 1,000 to apply. 

 

TAT optimism is likely to be seen as clutching at straws by an industry growing increasingly apart from the claims made by the tourism authority, notes Thaivisa. 

 

Hoteliers all over Thailand have been saying that the situation is dire in recent weeks. Stories of doom and gloom about tourism going down the pan in Pattaya and Phuket have been all over the media.

 

But the TAT and the Thai Ministry for Tourism and Sports continue to paint a rosier picture than what businesses - and ordinary tourists - are experiencing on the ground. 

 

 

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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2019-07-24

 

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Vietnam for the family holiday this year. Suggestions welcome. Family friendly.

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Wait didn't we have a .89 increase this month?  OhWell I guess we have all known this, if you lived here.  it just took awhile for reality to finally intrude on window dressing. You can spin for a while, more than a while but eventually the shoe drops.
 

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The OP doesn't take into account the staggering numbers of both legal and many illegals hotels, moteles, guesthouses and airbnb that exist now everywhere in Thailand, the latter of course not reporting on their booking numbers, having said that, the high baht and the fact that Thailand stopped being the darling of the tourism world doesn't help either...

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33 minutes ago, webfact said:

Marketing manager at the Chiang Mai Orchid Hotel Watcharaporn Jongphaophan confirmed the bad news saying that bookings were 30% down and that rooms previously priced at 1,400 baht were now offered for 900 baht. 

 

There is also a group tour package for 9 rooms for 8,888 baht, she said.

With 9 rooms at 900 each making 8,100, the person who thought 8,888 was a good promotion is as bad at maths as TAT.

Which brings us to an interesting point. TAT are saying tourism is either slightly up, or only fractionally down, while hotels and other tourism businesses are saying 30-40% down across the country. I know who I believe.

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I live in Chiang Mai. You uses to see caravans of tour busses on the streets daily. Now you rarely see 3 - 4 in a month. 

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I have friends who normally come to Thailand once or twice a year, quite a few of whom are not coming this year. The strength of the baht is the number one reason, while comments about the Chinese in their hotels, and especially about the way they behave where there is a buffet breakfast also ranks up there. Thailand put its eggs in the Chinese basket, despite as was proved in Sihanoukville, that when the Chinese arrive in numbers, everyone else leaves and don't come back. There is no easy solution to getting tourists back, and I suspect things are going to get a whole lot worse, before they (if ever), start to improve.

Those who rely on the tourism market for their livelihoods, must also take a big chunk of the blame, for very poor behaviour across the board.

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3 minutes ago, ThreeEyedRaven said:

I have friends who normally come to Thailand once or twice a year, quite a few of whom are not coming this year. The strength of the baht is the number one reason, while comments about the Chinese in their hotels, and especially about the way they behave where there is a buffet breakfast also ranks up there. Thailand put its eggs in the Chinese basket, despite as was proved in Sihanoukville, that when the Chinese arrive in numbers, everyone else leaves and don't come back. There is no easy solution to getting tourists back, and I suspect things are going to get a whole lot worse, before they (if ever), start to improve.

Those who rely on the tourism market for their livelihoods, must also take a big chunk of the blame, for very poor behaviour across the board.

I think Thailand really has tried to discourage Chinese tourists by the anti poop and drowning campaigns I wonder what else they could do?  Maybe have them fill out more immigration forms. 

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The hotel i used to stay in in chiang mai a few years ago had a lot of chinese staying there.

Doors were being slammed al night long and loud talking all hours of the day.

Last time i was there i asked if they had any chinese guests,they said yes and i walked out.

Different culture is fine but why do they not adapt a little to thai culture?

Looks like i am not alone in this.

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While you found a new young, beautiful and caring woman, your old hag is crying, please come back, I'll try not to be a bitch.

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how can that be, the big guy says tourist is up.

is he wrong, or misinformed, or another i am the boss and is what i say.

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I've looked more into the reasons why this kind of reporting is extremely misleading. They are quoting the Northern Chapter of the Thai Hotel Association. 
This is a club of 64 (!) hotels, most of them very long established. Places like the Orchid Hotel, Chiang Mai Gate, CM Plaza Hotel, Dusit Princess, Suriwongse, Holiday Inn, M Hotel (formerly Montri), Imperial Mae Ping, Lotus PSK, Phucome, Flora Creek (formerly Kritsada Doi Resort), Prince Hotel, etc. etc. So in short these are all hotels that were also around 20-30 years ago, (with some 5-Star newcomers like the Meridien and Anantara) For reference, the full list is here: http://www.thaihotels.org/16779806/northern-upper


It would be an understatement to say that Chiang Mai tourism is not the same as it was 20-30 years ago. No longer a couple dozen entrenched hotels dominate the market. A quick look on Agoda shows 5,274 hotels , hostels and other accommodation providers. Booking dot com: 2,084. 


So there are now THOUSANDS of options for tourists to stay in Chiang Mai. Most of these did not even exist '10 years ago' as stated by the old guard hotel operators. 
There is probably an interesting and relevant article / headline to be found in there, about the changing landscape of tourist accommodation in the North, but a whine about 'the worst for 10 years' on tourist numbers certainly isn't it. 


I wish fewer journalists let themselves be fooled so easily. One thing the Hotel Association does well is issue press releases and do seminars and interviews. So the laziest of journalists will have something to print.

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I've seen 50% discounts they keep coming up with these figures they need to be at ground level to see whats really happening as somebody already mentioned we dont see the convoys of coaches full of Chinese then the seafood market in Rawai is dead the Thai's have killed it for themselves all the double pricing and bad attitudes even the Chinese are saying it's way to expensive at the seafood market.  

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Good. I hope that tourism dies all over the country. Perhaps then, the Thai people will tell immigration to F off. 

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