Is It High Season If No-One Turns Up?

By Martin Kelly, Editor, Travel Trends

EXTRAORDINARY times call for extraordinary action. You’d think so anyway, particularly in a country like Thailand, which has had plenty of image problems over the past couple of months, starting with anti-government demonstrations closing three key tourist airports in late August followed by increasingly nasty protests broadcast around the world. All compounded by the financial meltdown.

So what do hoteliers in Phuket do? Raise their rates. Why? Because that’s what they always do on November 1. It’s high season, no matter what. One property, Mom Tris Villa Royale, doubled its prices and even declined to honour rates for customers turned away from Phuket by the late August demonstrations. Not the smartest of moves. Between now and Christmas, I would have thought any business is good business, particularly for the high-end properties. Dynamic pricing anyone? Travel Trends: October 14, 2008

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