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Phuket seeing inventory increase   Print  E-mail 
Sirima Eamtako, Phuket (2009-02-11)

AGAINST declining demand, Phuket is poised to receive more rooms.

According to C9 Hotelworks’ market research, 30 new hotels are at various stages of development, with about 4,918 rooms due to hit the supply between this year and 2011.

At press time, sources told TTG Daily News more management deals between hotel investors and international hotel chains were being clinched.

One nearest possible deal between a local investor of yet another large property and an international five-star hotel brand is said to be close to signing by the end of this month.

C9 Hotelworks managing director, Mr Bill Barnett, said room supply in Phuket was on the upturn as Phuket still had good fundamentals with its international reputation and direct regional air access.

He added Phuket had an inventory of nearly 40,000 rooms in registered tourism establishments, ranging from guesthouses to branded hotels, with about 10,000 rooms or 25 per cent of the total room supply being of international standards.
However, demand is declining. According to the result from the annual meeting between the Thai Hotels Association (THA) and Association of Thai Travel Agents, Phuket hotels can expect average occupancy rate to drop 34.39 per cent  in the first quarter of this year, pulling it down to 48.55 per cent compared to 82.94 per cent in the same period in 2007.

Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa director and Villa Zolitude Phuket managing director, Mr Maitree Narukatpichai, said the situation looked set to be even more challenging in the coming low season, when Phuket hotels might be running at below 50 per cent occupancy between May and September.

“Offering discounts and special deals is necessary as it will entice new bookings, most of which are coming at a short lead time given the volatile economic situation. Some Phuket hotels are already offering low-season deals as of February,” he said.

According to THA, Phuket hotels finished last year with an average occupancy rate of 67.97 per cent and an average room rate of 3,295.66 baht (US$94), compared to 67.67 per cent and 3,212.05 baht in 2007, respectively.