Bangkok blast: Hotels offer huge discounts in high season

Berkeley Hotel Pratunam, in central Bangkok, is offering over a 50% discount, according to online travel agency Agoda. Photo by Kenji Kawase.
PHOTO: Nikkei Asian Review

BANGKOK - Even though August is one of the high seasons for tourism, some top hotels in Bangkok are offering huge discounts on their rooms over heightened concerns that the fatal blast in Erawan Shrine will deal a blow to the travel industry.

In a sign that the hospitality industry in one of the most popular destination cities in the world may already be feeling the pinch, emails headlined "Are you interested in bargain-priced hotel rooms in Bangkok?" are being sent out to customers.

Some Hong Kong-based Agoda users are receiving such messages in Chinese. The Singapore-based online travel agency usually dispatches such email messages to promote reasonable rooms in cities that their registered clients have visited in the past. However, since the bombing on the evening of Aug. 17, users who have never reserved rooms in Bangkok are getting these messages.

In the most recent message dated Aug. 20, four hotels in central Bangkok were on offer. For instance, the rate indicated for the Berkeley Hotel Pratunam was 499 Hong Kong dollars (US$64.4) a night, representing what Agoda said was a 52 per cent discount. The overnight room rate for Lebua at State Tower, close to the bomb site at the Chao Phraya River, was offered at an even better discount of 66 per cent at 797 Hong Kong dollars. Both of these are five-star hotels in the city centre.