Thailand’s hotel occupancy experience double-digit growth in 2015, as the country’s hospitality sector benefited from increasing visitor numbers.
According to data released by STR Global at the Thailand Tourism Forum 2016 in Bangkok this week, Thailand’s hotels recorded an average occupancy of 73.4% last year, an increase of 13.6% over 2014. December was a particularly strong month, with occupancy reaching 77.4% – the highest level since 1995.
The results were driven by a sharp rise in visitor arrivals, which exceeded 29 million for the first time in Thailand’s history last year. This was primarily driven by the demand from mainland China.
Bill Barnett, managing director of C9 Hotelworks, which co-organised the event, said that the strong performance of the country’s hotels reflects a mood of optimism around the Thai tourism industry, despite a seemingly continuous string of setbacks.
“I think everyone can feel the buzz. There is palpable excitement in the industry tinged with the uncertainly of not knowing what is around the corner. This is a very dynamic operating environment as Thailand works out what life is like after 30 [million visitors],” Barnett said.
“One thing is for sure; Thailand clearly possesses the most vibrant tourism industry in the region. It is attracting investment and is positioned as the tourism hub of AEC. We will see this emerge as a major storyline through the year as the country will lead the region’s tourism development,” he added.