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A new resort with a turtle shape roof goes up at Phuket's Mai Khao

Phuket Survey: Occupancy Down for High Season

Friday, November 27, 2009
THE COMING high season is not producing a seasonal glow in the hearts of resort accountants on Phuket. Christmas carols may be a little subdued.

But a Phuketwan survey of 10 resorts leaves plenty of hope for improvement in 2010, with the industry continuing to agree that better times are coming.

What's impossible to calculate is how much of a reduction in tourism Thailand's political uncertainty is causing, and whether an island with a good public transport system, free of assorted scams and excessive prices, would suddenly rebound in appeal.

Criticism seems fairly widespread. For example, BK magazine, a popular Bangkok giveaway, gives Samui a thumbs up and Phuket a thumbs down for five-star hi-so getaways. ''Compared to Phuket you'll find a lot fewer backpackers and sex tourists,'' the magazine says of Samui.

Of Phuket the magazine reports: ''Amanpuri, Sri Panwa, Sala Phuket, Banyan Tree - when it comes to five-star luxury, Phuket has long held the crown. While the combo of pretty beaches and an old town with a rich heritage means it hasn't completely lost its charm, the island is rapidly being covered in ugly outlet stores and high-density resorts.''

Fortunately there are tourists who seem to enjoy Phuket's quirky mix of sand, sex and high-pressure selling. But some of the key issues clearly need attention.

As the jet-ski scandal illustrated, its better to clean up the mess before the stench drives everyone away. The days of pretending nothing is wrong must surely give way to concerted action.

STR Global reports that its not just Phuket enduring pain. Hotels across the region have lost $22.04 in RevPAR value compared to October 2008. Phuket (-22.8 percent to $72.72), Shanghai (-22.2 percent to $117.22), and Beijing (-22.1 percent to US$95.68), reported the largest ADR decreases. Remember, though, that last year was China's Olympic year, so a downturm could be expected.

Here's what spokespeople at 10 Phuket resorts had to say when we asked them about occupancy and the future.

La Flora Resort, Patong

67 rooms, 9100 baht deluxe pool room. Open since high season last year.
Occupancy: 60 percent. December 1-25 bookings at 50 percent. Guests from Australia, younger generation. No reduction in prices, no special packages. No plans to lay off staff.

Kata Beach Resort and Spa, Kata beach

275 rooms, 10,400 baht. Open for more than 20 years
Ocupancy: 70 percent. Same as last year. Customers who stay seven nights get a free spa treatment. Last year guests booked two or three months in advance. This year its two or three weeks in advance. No intention of laying off staff. Regular guests from Australia, Europe, India.

Movenpick Resort and Spa, Karon beach

364 rooms, 6,500 baht, peak 8800 baht. Open three years as a Movenpick.
Occupancy: 80 percent. Bookings for December 85-95 percent. No plan to lay off staff. Low season occupancy, 40-50 percent, 4000 baht. This high season better than last year, better times expected next year.

Banyan Tree Phuket

250 rooms 17,400 baht. Open for 14 years.
Occupancy: 74 percent. Bookings for December, 70 percent. No policy to lay off staff. Packages are pending for the new year. Occupancy expected to improve next year. Customers mostly from Europe, Australia.

Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort

470 rooms Start 5500 baht. Open 23 years.
Occupancy: 67 percent. Bookings for peak season at 95 percent. Next year expected to see occupancy rise above 74 percent. Last years it was 83 percent. Customers European, Scandinavian, Russians, Americans.

Twin Palms Phuket

97 rooms, Twin Palms Club 40 rooms. Start 6100 baht. Open five years.
Occupancy: 70-80 percent. Peak season 90 percent. Regular customers from Britain, Europe, Australia, Hong Kong. No policy to lay off staff. Next year occupancy expected to increase, but no firm figure.

Racha Hotel, Phuket

70 rooms, from 9200 baht. Open five years.
Occupancy: 80-90 percent. Low season occupancy 50 percent. Customers from Britain, Germany, Spain. No policy on layoffs. Next year tipped to be better than this year.

Paresa Resort Phuket, Kamala

41 rooms, from 22,400 baht. Open two months
Occupancy: 50 percent. Peak season, 60 percent predicted. Guests from Europe and Asia. Next year more customers predicted.

Blue Marine Resort and Spa, Patong

250 rooms, six villas. 4000 baht high, 2500 baht low. Open five years.
Occupancy: 80 percent. Low season, 55 percent. During the economic crisis, 40 percent. Promote by offering discount rate with extra benefits to tour operators and internet agents. Some discount rates planned. No layoffs planned. Hotel has grown in size, so more staff needed.

Ayara Kamla Resort and Spa

27 rooms. 16,500 baht for deluxe ocean view. Open two years.
Occupancy: 30 percent No policy to lay off staff. Better occupancy tipped for next year. Guests from Australia, US, Asia.
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Take The Photo Tour Operators and agents gave the thumbs up to the weekend's Andaman Travel Trade fair with members of the public gaining discounts on Saturday and Sunday.
Andaman Bargains On Show at Travel Trade Fair

Phuket Trade, Cruises Win 133m Baht Port Funding
Latest If Singapore is the 'red dot' then Phuket just might become the 'green dot' as officials announce plans for spending that will boost the island's trade and tourism.
Phuket Trade, Cruises Win 133m Baht Port Funding

Phuket Needs More Nations Following Norway
Photo Album Norway leads by example with an improvement to representation on Phuket that deserves to be followed by other nations. Will it be? Let's hope so.
Phuket Needs More Nations Following Norway

Phuket Governor Jets a Ski and Says: It's Safe
Photo Album Goodbye bad old days, hello blue skies and a happy high season. That was the message from the jet ski day of fun that marked a new era of insurance and good tourism service.
Phuket Governor Jets a Ski and Says: It's Safe

Phuket's New ibis, High on Tec but Low on Jobs
Latest Phuket gains a new resort on December 1 but only 80 jobs come with it. Why? Because dynamic pricing offers better value online and also greater billing efficiency, requiring fewer staff.
Phuket's New ibis, High on Tec but Low on Jobs


Comments have been disabled for this article.


I hope everything goes as expected as above, looking at Oct and Nov 09 I am thinking the worst is ahead.

Posted by khap on November 27, 2009 23:04

Monday July 15, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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