Thai TurmoilAfter years of turmoil, Bangkok hoteliers are finally toughening up.

The latest analysis from STR Global shows they are staying strong on rates despite a collapse in demand caused by constant civil and political unrest.

Average rates during the March quarter fell just 0.6% while occupancy collapsed 30.7% to 55.2%.

In the past, room rates would have  been slashed by a similar level, but calls by industry leaders to hold firm look like they have produced a united front – for now.

However, the future remains brittle.

“The hotel industry in Bangkok has taken a hit as a result of the political unrest”, said Elizabeth Winkle, managing director of STR Global.

“2013 was a good year for hotels in Bangkok; however, 2014 is off to a rough start for the market.

“In February and March, Bangkok reported the lowest occupancy figures since August 2010.

“The greatest concern is the uncertainty of how long the conflict will last”.

Meanwhile, major resort destinations are faring much better than Bangkok, increasing room rates despite the turmoil in the Thai capital.

“Resort markets, such as Koh Samui and Phuket, traditionally command higher rates than Bangkok (and) the recent unrest has increased the gap even further,” she said

For example, “rates in Koh Samui in Q1 2014 were nearly three times higher than in Bangkok.”

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