The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search

Thai hotels transform under the ‘New Normal’

Thai hotels transform under the ‘New Normal’

BANGKOK: The changes being brought into effect in the tourism and hospitality sectors as a result of COVID-19 pandemic may well remain in place long after the “short-term” effects of the pandemic have gone, says a leading figure at the international property consultancy CBRE.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 9 July 2020, 10:15AM

The hotel industry will undergo inevitable changes as part of the ‘new normal’, including an added emphasis on hygiene, a redefined restaurant concept, new partnerships and design alterations, explained Atakawee Choosang, Head of Capital Market - CBRE Hotels, Thailand.

The hospitality sector is now seeing both subtle and substantial changes, some already apparent today Mr Atakawee pointed out.

“With a sharp reduction in international visitors, the hotel sector took one of the hardest hits across the real estate industry during COVID-19. We see many hotel developers and owners of large hotels in Thailand, reliant on international inbound, temporarily shutting their respective hotel businesses as they are not able to be profitable even with the current shift towards domestic tourism,” he said.

“In tandem, owners across the board are trying to regain guests’ confidence with accredited hygiene standards and by adding new specifications and installations for health and safety.

“For the hotel guest user and owners alike, we believe this is a positive development.  The hotel asset type, in some ways should reflect a ‘second home’ on the road either in the short or long term, and while the common public space is easing up on its protocols, hotels will continue to have the highest standard of hygiene and cleanliness possible to build confidence with the guests,” Mr Atakawee added.

To improve hotel performance in the short-term, hotel owners in Thailand are focused on reassuring guests of their virus-free hotels by implementing new safety protocols like COVID-19 control and prevention training for hotel staff following the Ministry of Public Health guidelines and acquiring a series of ISO certifications and SHA from the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration.

In the long-run, partnerships with travel platforms such as travel agencies, tourism offices, airlines and tourist destinations will be crucial for business survival and growth.  Medical tourism, wellness certified hotel, and potential hotel-hospital alliances can play a significant role in recovering the hotel market and become a significant driver in future hotel concepts as Thailand already has, by nature, a strong and welcoming hospitality culture catering to the domestic and international aging population, he said.

Brightview Center

“With public health at the forefront, Thailand has the potential to solidify its status as one of the front-runners in the medical industry. Thailand is one of the most successful countries in the world to battle the virus outbreak, in a short period of time the infected cases has visually decreased and the number of fatalities are at a minimum. Hotel developers may see this as an opportunity to target medical tourism visitors that, despite the recent slowdown, has been on the rise since 2016. Forming new business relationships with hospitals may be very beneficial for future hotel performance as well,” Mr Atakawee added.

In terms of F&B, the social-distancing policy has altered the hotel-dining experience, especially in terms of the seating and spatial configuration. The shortage of dine-in customers during the past few months has driven many hotel restaurants to compete with standalone eateries by offering food delivery services to drive additional revenue. Since the lockdown restriction has lifted, the new hotel dine-in experience has adopted additional safety requirements like physical-distancing by table, but also a higher standard of food handling and preparation, and potentially new dining concepts to cater towards smaller group sizes but in higher quantities.

Mr Atakawee noted, “Guests are now more conscious about social distancing and virus infection from food-on-display. It is possible that for the hotel F&B segment, less emphasis will be placed on all-you-can-eat buffets in favor of á-la-carte, set menu and chef table courses. If done well and creatively, this could result in decreased food waste, and a higher quality food.” 

Changes from a hotel development and services standpoint are also in the pipeline for to restore the guests’ confidence, firstly by accommodating essential workers, primarily business executives, government officials and investors, who are among the first groups to be permitted to travel, with new facilities to support remote meetings directly from the hotels with in-room Zoom or similar applications.

Hotel management will likely continue its common area management: daily disinfection of the lobby, installation of air filtration, temperature scans, and hand sanitisers and alcohol-based sprays.

“However full-scale touchless technology, digital keys, digital check-in, and potentially ultraviolet and other unobtrusive virus-killing technologies could become the norm at branded and upscale to luxury hotels. The adoption of phonebooths for individual calls should become more prevalent, however it is to be seen if a reversion away from a communal approach to hotel design will be embraced since the community aspect is very much part of ‘lifestyle’ hotels which has become popular over the past several years.

“Regardless of positioning, hotels will need to strive for a symbiotic balance to support layout usability and a clear, harmonised health and safety protocol standard to be applied to every part of the hotel. It’s all about rebuilding the level of trust,” Mr Atakawee concluded.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.


DeKaaskopp | 11 July 2020 - 01:12:06

@ericphuket  Who would like to have tourists from USA right now ? Maybe no problem for Bali/Indonesia as their numbers of Covid cases are quite high.So let them mingle with them.Thailand is better of without them.
@ Paddy  And keep all Americans,Brits,Aussies etc.out too!

ericphuket | 10 July 2020 - 18:15:48

With airports shut down by the CAAD puppets hotels not have to expect a lot
Interesting is that garuda Indonesia is going to offer direct flights from usa and France to Bali
If the Thais not change fast their strategy they will loose many tourists to Indonesia 

Paddy | 09 July 2020 - 15:07:01

All they have to do , is keep the Chinese out of Thailand , problem solved.


Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
Deputy PM, ministers inspect airport readiness for Phuket Sandbox

The embassies and Consulates of civilized and eligible countries from which travelers may enter Phuk...(Read More)

Phuket vaccination push riddled with confusion and claims

The requirement is 70% of SECOND vaccinations. What an absolute debacle. !!!! That is why I have ...(Read More)

Pfizer vaccine approved by Thai FDA

Pfizer, long time ago approved/ already 'world wise' in use as vaccine, just now approved by...(Read More)

Deputy PM, ministers inspect airport readiness for Phuket Sandbox

It may be clear to minister Phiphat that as long the taxi/van/tuk tuk mafia rules the Phuket roads b...(Read More)

Vaccination registration for non-working foreigners in Phuket opens

The situation is quite serious now with the delta variant prolific in BKK. Sinovac and Sinopharm h...(Read More)

Health system won’t collapse, says Anutin

Seems minister Anutin, a steel construction professional, is patronizing medical professors and doct...(Read More)

B3mn COVID insurance for O-A visa applicants may broaden options for retirees

Fully agree with Fascinated No need or reason why the Thai Government to demand that you have an in...(Read More)

B3mn COVID insurance for O-A visa applicants may broaden options for retirees

Try getting an answer out of your insurance broker on whether premiums will be impacted if the insur...(Read More)

Deputy PM, ministers inspect airport readiness for Phuket Sandbox

We must be running out of dogs and ponies at this rate!...(Read More)

B3mn COVID insurance for O-A visa applicants may broaden options for retirees

Although health insurance for foreigners should be mandatory for long stays the choice of insurance ...(Read More)