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Riverside hotels in new bid to revive business

Luxury hotels along the Chao Phraya River will hold talks today with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration on reviving their business.

Hotel managers and senior executives of eight hotels located along the river are scheduled to meet with the Deputy Bangkok Governor today for a review of the current campaign, launched in April 2014, which has so far failed to revive the sector.

"The group will propose new strategies and marketing plans and may seek help from govt officials in boosting occupancy rates," said a source.

The on-going campaign- Bangkok Riverside Marketing Partnership (BRMP)- was initiated by Pacific Asia Travel Association (Pata) led by Bert Van Walbeek, Chairman of Pata Thailand Chapter, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration,Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), and eight hotel executives from Anantara Bangkok Riverside & Spa, Chatrium Hotel Riverside, Mandarin Oriental, Millennium Hilton, The Peninsula Bangkok, Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside, Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers, and Shangri-La Hotel with each hotel adopting its own marketing strategy.

However, the Thai Hotels Association (THA) recorded a lower average occupancy rate for Bangkok hotels in April, compared to 60 per cent in the same period last year. The rate further declined to 30-40 per cent in May after the military coup on May 22, before picking up to nearly 45 per cent this month but still lower than the average figure of 50 per cent for July last year.

The launch of BRMP aimed to promote hotels on the bank of the river as the preferred destination especially for meetings, conventions and exhibitions for participants from the both local and overseas markets.

It was also meant to serve scheduled MICE meetings forced to shift to new venues by political protests .

"We are disappointed with this campaign. It has failed to increase bookings significantly. It should not be run by a third party," they said.

The eight riverside hotels have a total of 4,152 rooms, 13 ballrooms and 112 meeting rooms, and 43 restaurants.

According to PATA forecast, visitor arrivals to the Asia Pacific region will continue to grow at an average rate of over 6 per cent per annum from 2013 to 2018. Southeast Asia will show the highest average annual growth rate over the forecast period at 12 per cent, given the rapid expansion of the middle-class with their passion for overseas travel.




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