by Meetings and Conventions Asia | January 21, 2020
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STR forecast Bangkok hotels will improve RevPar this year by 2.2%.

BANGKOK - Even though hotels in Thailand have registered a 6% drop in revenue per available room (RevPar) in 2019, the prospect of 40 million tourist arrivals this year has led to the likely addition of 50,000 new rooms across the country over five years.

The weak performance of 2019 stems from a decline from the Chinese market and other headwinds, reported Bangkok Post.

Of the total, 15,000 of the new rooms will be in Bangkok, which was the least affected destination with a 2% dip in RevPar last year, said Jesper Palmqvist, area director of Asia-Pacific for STR, a hospitality market analyst.

At the Thailand Tourism Forum 2020, STR forecast Bangkok hotels will improve RevPar this year by 2.2%, bolstered by MICE travellers, apart from the strong leisure market.

"Thailand was not the only country suffering from softer demand from Chinese tourists, as rivals in Southeast Asia and New Zealand also felt the sting after the Chinese government upgraded domestic infrastructure, such as high-speed trains, aiming to spur the domestic economy," he was quoted as saying.

Chiang Mai, another popular destination, saw a RevPar decline of 9%, while Pattaya and Hua Hin fell by 4% and 2%, respectively.

Last year, the overall hotel occupancy rate in Thailand stood at 73.1%.

Mr Palmqvist forecast the rate will drop slightly in 2020 due to uncontrollable challenges.

"The Thai hospitality segment has to diversify from China into India, Japan, South Korea and the US because these markets contribute almost 20% of international arrivals," he said.