Bangkok hopes to ride Thai visitor wave as hotel pipeline grows

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Bangkok hopes to ride Thai visitor wave as hotel pipeline grows

Photo by Milind Shah on Unsplash.

Thai capital Bangkok is preparing for increasing numbers of international tourists with an accordingly growing hotel pipeline.

Visitor levels across the country are already on the rise, with Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports reporting that as of the end of November over 9 million foreign travellers have headed to the southeast Asia nation so far in 2022, with a 10 million target in site by the end of the year.

Domestic boost

Domestic travellers across Thailand are also adding to tourism positivity, with a total of 200 million trips reached from the beginning of the year to the end of October, almost reaching the pre-covid tally for the entirety of 2019: 222 million trips. The numbers exceed the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s 2022 target of 160 million trips.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was reportedly pleased with the upwards trajectory, with the Thai government stating: “He is confident that Thai tourism in 2023 will do even better than the pre-covid-19 period, with booming domestic tourism and an increasing number of foreign visitors.”

Bangkok boom

In Bangkok itself, 130,000 passengers are expected to pass through Suvarnabhumi Airport every day in December, according to Minister of Transport Saksayam Chidchob. This is compared to daily traffic of around 115,000 passengers in November.

Likewise, the city’s high end hotel pipeline is also growing, though at a steady pace. According to TOPHOTELPROJECTS data, 18 months ago, there were 41 properties and 10,991 rooms on the slate. However, today those numbers are at least 44 sites comprising 10,994 keys, a 7% and 0.02% rise, respectively.

Segments and stars

Segment-wise, there is a weighting towards upscale rather than luxury, with 27 sites/61% of the pipeline being four star hotels, while the remaining 17 (39%) are in the five star category.

Deliveries are due to peak in 2023 with 12 scheduled, closely followed by 2024 with 10. The rate relaxes in 2025 at the moment with just five completions on the slate. Another two hotels are expected to open by the end of this year, while the remaining 15 are either yet to be designated an end date or will be delivered beyond 2025.

Awaited hotels

Just a few brands have more than one planned site in the city, with two apiece, numbering: Marriott International’s Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Oakwood Worldwide’s Oakwood Resorts, Absolute Hotel Services’ Eastin Hotels, and IHG Hotels & Resorts’ InterContinental Hotels & Resorts.

One major IHG project underway is Six Senses Forestias, part of a revolutionary forest city on the outskirts of Bangkok which aims to provide a healthier living template in Thailand. The site is slated to house 85 boutique and crafted rooms that are layered in nine floors above a green and lush podium, with delivery scheduled for Q1 2024.

Due to complete in the same quarter is another green site, Aman Nai Lert Bangkok, which is intended to be a haven of calm amid its leafy namesake park. Designed with wraparound views, open-air terraces and a central atrium by Jean Michel Gathy of Denniston, the 36-storey building will house the 52-suite hotel, no more than 50 residences and leisure and entertainment facilities.

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