BANGKOK - The tourism outlook in provinces near Bangkok as well as in Hua Hin is bright as many people will likely want to escape the political confusion in the capital for a peaceful place to spend the long holidays this month.
"People are getting bored of the political turmoil and many choose to go out of Bangkok for the holidays.
Early this month, occupancy rates in provinces near Bangkok faced a slight drop, but later that will be offset by an outflow of local tourists from Bangkok into the areas during this festive season," Surapong Techaruvichit, president of the Thai Hotels Association, said yesterday. Such a trend would help improve the country's overall situation, slammed by the political chaos. Their trips would also help prop up occupancy rates in those provinces at 80-85 per cent, on par with last year.
Even though that is stagnation, it is considered the best performance at a time when the country is mired in a political crisis.
Overall, political tensions are easing, thanks to the footage of a compromising act between security officers and protesters on Tuesday, which was seen worldwide.
From today to Tuesday, Hua Hin will be one of the major destinations. Many local tourists are going there to celebrate His Majesty the King's auspicious birthday today and relax at the same time.
Somchai Chompoonoi, director for the Central region of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said Thais planned to go there to view the decorative lighting in the beach resort as well as other activities. Hotel occupancy rates could reach 90 per cent. The number of Thai tourists has increased 30 per cent, which would help drive occupancy rates up to 90 per cent.
However, an executive of Accor Group said occupancy at the hotel chain's properties in Hua Hin, which include Ibis and Novotel, had stayed at about 70 per cent.
Its hotel in Pattaya is also only about that full, so there are plenty of rooms available at the two cities for this weekend.
The company said people might be heading to cooler places up North rather than hitting the beach.