CityNews – 28th January 2020, President of the Hotel Association (Northern Chapter) announced that the Coronavirus has affected the hotel industry very hard, with an estimated 70% loss of revenue over the next two months.
While authorities say that they have the situation under control and have put in place all preventative measures to protect the public, especially in terms of managing tourism arrivals from China, and installing procedures for all eventualities and situations.
According to La-iad Bungsrithong, president of the association, said that the past few days have seen mass cancellations, especially in four and five star hotels. She also talked to tour operators, who said that they currently use the service of 50-60 hotels to place their customers and have found that nearly all of their customers have cancelled, up until the end of next month. The company has had to offer full refunds to clients, in hopes of attracting them back when the situation is better. With more and more flights from China being cancelled, and authorities considering banning all flights, the situation is of grave concern to many operators.
As this is annually the time of the year when the most Chinese tourists arrive, being over the Chinese new year period, the loss of tourism over these two months will affect many businesses in Chiang Mai, continued La-iad, who says that the industry is now discussing how to attract other markets to help fill the gap.
The director of Tourism Authority of Thailand held a meeting on 31st January with members of the business community to discuss Thailand’s vulnerability in relying so much on one tourism market – the Chinese, the largest inbound nationality to Thailand by far. It is estimated that currently, the Chinese tourism market accounts for 70% of all tourism to Thailand, said the director.
As to how much effect this will have on the economy is as yet unclear as time is required to correlate data. But the northern hotel association has 60 hotel members, which amounts to around 8,000 rooms, while in the whole of Chiang Mai there are 4,000 hotels with 60,000 rooms in total, so the numbers are as yet unavailable, added La-iad.