Amcham conference report in Pattaya on Hotels and hotel/tourism market outlook-much better then expected

The American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand recently held a conference in Pattaya discussing the hotel industry, the current market and the future of the hotel industry in Pattaya.

This chart measures high end hotels in the area and occupancy vs. the rest of the country.

Despite what some self proclaimed doom and gloom internet experts say online, which seemed to be a theme of the conference, the numbers and statistics paint a significant different picture. The full presentations and data can be seen in the link above.

With the arrival of the Eastern Economic Corridor and many projects that they covered in detail the hotel future looks bright as well.

Some overall takeaways….

Pattaya gets an amazing 13 million total visitors a year. This number was significantly higher then what the recent MasterCard index reported but is based on what they call the greater Pattaya area which includes the surrounding region. It also covers domestic tourism.

Unsurprisingly, the bulk of hotel visitors are Chinese and Indian these days. Domestic tourism is getting stronger also. European visitors and American visitors are low.

Overall share is growing strongly. Branded hotels are growing significantly over small guest houses, especially with current restrictions and crackdowns designed to strengthen the law around hotels such as the hotel act.

The following is a report by Kim Waddoup who attended the event. We strongly suggest taking a look at some of the slides and information presented for a real idea of what is happening in the area and the hotel and tourist market. The projects discussed for the next few years EEC wise are quite big.

AmCham Hotel Conference: Hotels and Hotel Residences: Market Outlook for Greater Pattaya

AmCham, the American Chamber of Commerce organised a professional Conference on September 5th in the auspicious surroundings of the Holiday Inn ballroom. Titled “Hotel and Hotel Residences Market Outlook for Greater Pattaya” the concentrated afternoon event attracted the crème de la crème of the greater Pattaya Hospitality industry to listen to the hand picked speakers who were covering highly relevant information and data on how Pattaya is really performing with comparisons to other resorts both in Thailand and abroad.

In his opening speech, the indomitable Bill Barnett of C9 Hotel Networks opened the proceedings by stating that Pattaya achieves 13 million arrivals per year. This rivals the total tourism arrivals for some countries let alone single resorts. All is not doom and gloom for Pattaya as most of the data presented concentrated on the bottom line. Hotels and Residences have to budget and calculate a fine balance of overnights collated to revenue, the so called RevPAR (revenue per available room),

In the tourism industry there are private companies that collate data that is supplied to them by individual hotels. These are mostly the Branded or Chain hotels who all have a solid Corporate structure of detailed reporting, correct facts and real time data. This data is fed into databanks that enable these organisations to put together accurate and detailed information specifically relating to the hotel/hospitality business. They also enable these companies to provide an accurate cross section on the health (bottom line) of the market. For example, lower arrivals numbers but with rooms sold at a higher price are good for hotels, whilst resorts will post a downturn in arrival numbers.

The most relevant pointers in the lead speech from Fenady Uriate, Business Development Manager from STR indicated the following trends based on data supplied:-

  • The number of ‘branded’ hotels is growing in Pattaya, now 39%
  • Supply has increased by 1.6% but demand by 2%
  • Occupancy has declined by 0.3%, ADR(average daily rate)by 3.3% so RevPAR down by 3.6%
  • Seasonal analysis shows highest occupancy at the weekend, especially Saturday ight
  • Whilst ADR has suffered on weekdays the price has remained firm at weekends

Supply/demand and revenue are the key words to the hospitality sector and whilst beer stool experts may see that it appears that there are less guests coming to Pattaya the hotel business is quite upbeat. However there are an additional 5,500 rooms currently under construction in the Pattaya area. 41% of this new capacity will be opened in 2020.

In addition to hotel statistical data there was an interesting presentation from Puchong Kometsopha from the WHA Group highlighting the vast infrastructure investment that is currently going on in the EEC. There are many mega projects currently under construction and many more in the advanced planning stage. These will and already are influencing occupancy in regional hotels. Sometimes we may only see our own view of Pattaya, but the overview is vast and the development will bring increased business to our hotels.

Following the presentations and interesting panel discussions the majority of the attendees adjourned to the Havana Bar where extreme business rivals could be seen convivially discussing both business and, of course, other important matters!

The presentations from the event can be seen in full on the AmCham Thailand website

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Mr. Adam Judd is the Co-owner of TPN Media since December 2017. He is originally from Washington D.C., America, but has also lived in Dallas, Sarasota, and Portsmouth. His background is in retail sales, HR, and operations management, and has written about news and Thailand for many years. He has lived in Pattaya for over nine years as a full-time resident, is well known locally and been visiting the country as a regular visitor for over a decade. His full contact information, including office contact information, can be found on our Contact Us page below. Stories please e-mail About Us: Contact Us: