Looking forward…?


Bangkok Hotelier Andrew Wood reviews the business horizon over the coming months:

To be honest I am not… looking forward, that is. I believe for Thailand’s Tourism industry, and I guess pretty much everywhere else in the world, what is happening in the USA’s banking sector will have many implications for travel and tourism. I think it is going to be a roller-coaster, eight weeks ahead, and the outcome may not be something to look forward to.

The squeeze on credit between banks, and the demise of the weakest will have a knock-on effect into other areas. Even if the USA passes the emergency bill and injects hundreds of billions of dollars into the system, is it enough and is it in time? Frankly, as a consumer I feel reluctant to spend money at this time, not quite knowing what is around the corner. Discretionary spending is being cut to a minimum, in case I need to dip into reserves and savings. I believe I am not alone in this thinking, which multiplied many times over, will impact many industries including tourism.

With banking under pressure, real estate sales will be squeezed and buyers more difficult to find. This impacts the sale of building materials and ultimately home appliances. The sale of new cars, electronic products and holidays will also likely diminish. Follow this through to conferences, meetings and accommodation linked to product launches, exhibitions and sales seminars – they are likely to be affected negatively. too.

October business is already looking very shaky. Occupancies below 50% are becoming the norm in Bangkok and pressure to reduce costs increases with decreasing occupancy.

Let’s hope that the banking sector can resolve their challenges quickly, and then we can start to look forward to happier times.