The HPI is a regular report on hotel prices in major destinations across the world, tracking the movement in prices that people actually paid for their accommodation and providing valuable insight into the reasons behind the changes.
The data is drawn from bookings made on the hundreds of thousands of hotels on the Hotels.com websites worldwide.
According to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the number of travellers to Thailand surged in 2015. Visitor arrivals increased by 20.4% over 2014, totalling 29.8 million, driven by demand from the Chinese market.
However, travellers paid less in 95% of Thai destinations, including Phuket, said the HPI report.
Travellers to and within Thailand paid on average B2,968 per night (including taxes and fees), down from B3,226 in 2014. Among Thai cities analysed in the HPI, Kanchanaburi and Koh Samet saw the highest declines at 39%.
Top destinations for foreign visitors also saw a drop, as seen in Phuket by 14% to B2,754, while Pattaya and Chiang Mai dropped by 9% to B2,110 and 8% to B2,170, respectively.
The only destinations where travellers experienced an increase were Pranburi and Koh Ngai, by 7% to B5,529 and 5% to B3,473, respectively.
Hotel accommodation in popular destinations such as Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Songkhla and Surat Thani proved to be competitively affordable with average prices paid ranging from B810 to B1,720 per room per night.
“The global index sat at 114 for 2015 and is closing the gap on the previous peak of 117 in 2007, the year before the global economic crisis,” noted the report.
Specifically, Thailand’s low inflation rate and lower global oil prices were both cited as partial reasons for the slump.
Yet, the report added that, “The 8% fall in hotel prices paid in Thailand was good news for travellers who found even more affordable rates at most destinations.
“Travellers to cities outside of Thailand also saw a decrease in prices per room, per night, such as in Kuala Lumpur by 20% to B2,087, Seoul by 19% to B3,232, Bali by 19% to B2,790, Singapore by 18% to B4,527 and Taipei by 13% to B3,279.”
The fall in average room rates comes as Phuket experiences a surge in branded hotel room supply, accounting for 90 per cent of incoming Phuket pipeline projects, reports Bill Barnett, Managing Director of hospitality consultancy C9 Hotelworks.
“Phuket’s legacy of independent properties is becoming a thing of the past as the island’s future brandscape is now dominating by branded offerings. Widely known international hotel brands are rising in prominence,” he said.
“Sentiment by developers is now firmly on the side of the chains, in not only reflected by the current pipeline but also demonstrated by a number of recently announced conversions led by the French hotel group ACCOR.
“We expect this trend to continue with a secondary shift that takes the form of increased number of hospitality-led residences under planning,” he added.
In C9 Hotelworks’ recent pipeline report, Mr Barnett identified the following as key market trends:
• Marriott and Best Western are the key chains controlling more than a quarter of Phuket’s supply pipeline, by number of rooms.
• From a total of 32 projects, 29 are new-build hotels and 3 are either expansion or conversions of existing properties.
• Strong sentiment in the popular destination of Patong contributes towards 34% of the island’s room supply pipeline.
With new hotel projects underway, an increase of 5,216 rooms between 2016 and 2019 is forecast, with 30% opening in 2016 and 23% in 2017.
The incoming pipeline of 32 properties will include 28 branded hotels (4,677 keys) and four independent hotels (539 keys). Approximately 71% and 75% of the branded and independent hotels, respectively, are sized 100 keys or more, noted the report.