Value of Indian and Chinese visitors to Thai tourism underlined by revenue from country-specific booking sites
SiteMinder, the global hotel industry’s leading guest acquisition platform, today reveals its annual lists of the distribution channels that brought the highest booking revenue to hotels over the past year. Varying across 20 of the world’s top tourism destinations, the lists reveal the fast-growing successes of both direct booking strategies for hotels and the growth strategies of the travel industry’s consolidation-hungry giants.
In Thailand, the top 12 hotel booking channels in 2019, based on total gross revenue made for SiteMinder’s customers, were:
“Thailand welcomed 40.7 million arrivals in 2019, which was up 188 percent from 10 years ago. This growth presents immense opportunity for the country’s hoteliers, but it is important they are aware of how the booking landscape is changing and how their guests are choosing their accommodation,” says Brad Haines, Regional Vice President - Asia Pacific at SiteMinder. “Of note in our list of the 12 most popular booking channels is Goibibo, which is testament to the growing value that Indian travellers are bringing to the economy. Indeed, India is now among the country’s top five source markets.”
Within 14 of the 20 tourism destinations, direct bookings—gained via a hotel’s website—either climbed the list from the previous year or maintained their position among the top five spots. The sustained growth of the direct channel was matched only by that of Asia-headquartered Agoda, which made leaps across the EMEA region.
SiteMinder: top hotel booking revenue makers of 2019 show no stopping of direct channel, key players
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Set in the thick of probably the busiest area of Bangkok, engulfed by a forest of multi-storey buildings, is an extraordinary hotel, steeped in a 100- year history but brought up to date with an attractive hip look, lots of modern kit and intriguing reminders of a unique and colourful past.
Called Prince Theatre Heritage Stay, this tiny venue has played many roles over the past century before becoming a heritage hotel sought after by visitors looking for an atmosphere-laden alternative.
Those roles date back to 1912 when it began life as a casino famous for its racy all-male Chinese opera troupe and the shenanigans of its clientele. It was eventually closed down by Royal decree.
The controversy over the TM30 reporting procedure shows no sign of going away.
Immigration officials are continuing to insist on imposing a law that demands the owner of a hotel or other premises reports the presence of a temporary non-immigrant resident staying on their premises within 24 hours of their arrival.
The details of this law are complicated and a source of anxiety for all those affected, which must include all non-Thais - and not only so-called expats.
But what is the reason for the sudden re-emergence of this 40-year-old law? No one is able to provide a clear-cut answer, but here are some possibilities:
The most likely explanation is national security in the face of recent acts of terrorism and increasing trans-national crime. It is vital for Thai authorities to know the location of foreigners entering the country, be they good or bad.
Another possible reason is simply good accounting, to learn more about the habits of visiting foreigners.
Reports that many nationals from India and China are living here illegally, prompting a crackdown.
Yet another possibility is a tightening up on Airbnb and other largely unregulated accommodation booking sites which have proved very popular with tourists to the detriment of the hotel industry and also to the tax authorities since the revenue from such arrangements go under the radar.
Imposing TM30 efficiently and effectively clearly takes many working hours, which will no doubt prove burdensome to the authorities. That may come as some kind of compensation for foreigners still trying to understand the law.
With Phuket currently going through its quiet season against a backdrop of an increasing supply of new hotels, the choice of accommodation on Thailand’s premier island destination has never been bigger or better. The trick, of course, is to choose your hotel wisely.
For families and independent travelers, OZO Phuket, a newly opened mid-scale property, makes the grade on many levels.
In terms of its location at Kata Beach, OZO guests couldn’t wish for more. Apart from being generally recognized as the island’s most beautiful bay, Kata is also well positioned for exploring Phuket’s other attractions, including nearby Karon and Patong beaches, as well as numerous offshore islands, golf courses and the amazing Hanuman World zipline park.
OZO’s simple but thoughtful interior and exterior design, and its unmistakable laid-back holiday atmosphere also tick the boxes. Accommodation includes 255 guest rooms and suites across nine different categories in a series of five-storey buildings.
Although not set directly on the beach, the hotel is just a short stroll away from the northern end of Kata’s golden sand and surf via a keycard accessed side gate.
The hotel entrance is actually located right on Kata Road, which means guests are close to some great local restaurants, shops and entertainment zones.
That said, many guests no doubt prefer to spend most of their time within the hotel itself. Its extensive landscaped gardens include two separate pools – one designed for kids with its twin water slides and volleyball net, the other a freeform main pool for adults to lounge around and relax in. This area is unquestionably one of OZO’s most attractive features.
The hotel chain with more properties in Thailand than any other operator (and you may not have heard of it)
WHICH company operates the most hotels in Thailand? Marriott, Dusit, Hilton, Sheraton?
None of these. And not even the ubiquitous Centara Hotels & Resorts, The answer is Aspira Hospitality.
If you haven’t heard of AH, that may be because it’s a relatively new company. But right now, it operates and manages over 50 properties around Thailand, which is ten more than Centara Hotels & Resorts, number two on the list.
Founded in 2012 by Marc Sayer, who previously worked for the Royal Cliff Beach Resort in Pattaya and Landmark Hotel in Bangkok, Aspira’s hotel management division was initially aimed at the budget traveller coming to Thailand.
Since then, AH has grown to a portfolio of six distinct brands, catering for different market segments.
“Our latest brand T2, for example, is aimed at the millennial and generation Z travellers, with the focus on providing workspace cafes instead of all day dining restaurants - and distinct branding for social media awareness,” explains Marc.
AH properties are located in most key destinations including Bangkok, Pattaya, Krabi, Phuket, Samui and Chiangmai. They range in size from 15 to 150 rooms.
A further six properties will open later this year.
Escape from the Big City, at Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort
By CK Lee
MERCURE Pattaya Ocean Resort on North Pattaya Soi 2 is moments away from the beach and the ideal choice for an escapade from the big city.
The hotel has direct access to the beach and from the 210 rooms available, aim for the 24 Deluxe Ocean View rooms or 8 Ocean View Suites. If you are here with family or a larger number of friends, the Executive Family Suite is for you. Besides the tranquility of the ocean view, these rooms/suites also come with added features of an espresso machine, Bose Bluetooth speakers and a selection of complimentary drinks.
The hotel has a water playground! A fabulous mini water park with a dramatic rock wall and caves, tropical gardens, two swimming pools and a slider. To catch up with your reading (and we don’t mean emails), grab your book and head to the pool deck.
MASON, a collection of ultramodern and luxurious beachfront pool villas, has officially opened on Na Jomtien Beach, one of the Eastern Seaboard’s fastest growing new destinations.
Featuring 35 stunning villas overlooking the glittering Gulf of Thailand, this amazing beachfront retreat blends contemporary style with cultural sophistication, artistic design and an outstanding setting.
Luxurious vacations in a huge parkland overlooking the ocean
FOR more than four decades, the Royal Cliff Hotels Group has been a hospitality landmark in Pattaya, welcoming guests from home and abroad with its unique array of special attractions and facilities while continually raising its standards to maintain its position as a world class resort.
Indeed, think of Pattaya – and only one hotel instantly comes to mind. It’s been that way since the early 70s when the Royal Cliff opened and did more than any other institution to promote Thailand’s most famous beach destination.
As its name indicates, the Royal Cliff enjoys a superb elevated location overlooking the beautiful Gulf of Thailand. What’s more, its four award-winning hotels are set within a magnificent 64-acre private parkland estate, with access to the beach below.
The resort’s vast green spaces and overall tranquility offer the ultimate escape from today’s increasingly crowded urban life – ideal for families and those who enjoy nature and the fresh, clean air of beach life. And with new expressways linking Bangkok to Pattaya, it’s only a two-hour drive away.
Its recent makeover has been truly comprehensive, including a brilliant new design masterminded by Mr. Duangrit Bunnag, the world-renowned Thai architect who once again oversaw the construction. All kinds of exciting modern facilities have been installed to enhance the resort’s famous reputation for impressive service and authentic Thai experience.
The Royal Cliff Hotels Group operates a choice of award-winning hotels providing guests with the ultimate vacation experience.
Koh Samui has long been one of the world’s favorite holiday destinations. The tropical island in the Gulf of Thailand is renowned for its palm-fringed, white-sand beaches and mountainous interior forests. Here visitors have chance to enjoy natural splendor both above and below the waterline. Samui likewise is a place where you’re sure to have loads of fun hanging out with friends while making new ones day and night.
But there’s always been one problem for a certain type of visitor to Samui: the clued-up independent traveler who, while keen to find good-value accommodation, doesn’t want to go too basic. A thatch-roofed hut with hard bed might save you money, but at cost of your being tired, cranky and altogether out of sorts. Some bargains aren’t worth it. And although the island has many high-end hotels and swish resorts, a couple nights there and your socializing and entertainment budget soon gets zeroed out. There was a gap to be filled.
Presenting Lub d Koh Samui Chaweng Beach, the island’s comfortable yet affordable new spot – a sweet spot – for sleeping well, having fun and making connections.
Lub d Koh Samui Chaweng Beach is situated on one of Chaweng’s last stretches of seafront large enough for a beach club setting. And because the hotel has preserved surrounding natural island flora, guests stay connected with nature as well. Add to that a design providing Gulf of Thailand views from just about anywhere, and at Lub d Koh Samui Chaweng Beach there’s always a feeling of being connected with the sea and surf, of being a part of beach life and society.
A trusted brand in Southeast Asia with properties in Thailand at Bangkok and Phuket as well as in neighboring Cambodia and The Philippines, Lub d now brings its “social hotel” concept to Samui Island. This is where the switched-on cool kids will be heading – both the young and the young at heart – who want a totally different kind of beach club experience while on holiday.