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Songkran brings temporary joy to hotels and travelers

One of Thailand’s most important celebrations each year, Songkran provided a modest impact on hotel performance during the festive period in 2021.

On Sunday 11 April, Krabi saw occupancy hit 81% as part of the market’s solid, 7-day period that culminated with Songkran. While the occupancy impact was both shorter and lower in Samui and Phuket, with 61% and 46% peaks, respectively, the levels were certainly a change in scenery from the last 12 months.

Songkran brings temporary joy to hotels and travellers

Hua Hin and Pattaya, the usual weekend “hot spots” due to their driving distance from Bangkok, saw more muted performance. Hua Hin peaked at 61%. Chiang Mai, on the other hand, hasn’t regained the weekend spikes that it saw during Q4 2020.

Since Songkran, unfortunately, demand has dropped, and most Thai markets are down to single-digit occupancy amid a new pandemic wave. The country is focused on clearing hospital beds, controlling rapidly increasing cases and managing the COVID-19 mortality rate.

What’s next?

While Songkran offered a brief respite, and hopes and plans were drawn for a Phuket reopening to international travelers in July, the long-term goal to enable tourism to return for the next peak season come Q4 requires decisive action through continued waves to instill confidence in future arrivals.