Tourism and hotel businesses after COVID-19

The spread of COVID-19 is not only affecting tourism and hotels in the short term. If it continues to have long-term effects through changes in Megatrend, which has caused a change in tourism behavior. Tourism that meets more individual needs Changing the business model that emphasizes the adoption of modern technology including attention to health and hygiene The changing landscape of tourism has affected the demand patterns of tourists and the business models of hoteliers. Therefore, operators must accelerate adjustments to maintain income levels. including looking for new business opportunities related to tourism as well as creating connections with other sectors in the tourism value chain. whether the local community or even other businesses
in the future The decisive factor for the success of a hotel business comes not only from location, rooms, prices, and amenities. If it still comes from cooperation with other communities and businesses. related ability to adapt and risk management. Therefore, operators should accelerate their business strategy adjustments before international travel returns to normal in order to restore the tourism and hotel business to grow as strong as ever. It also creates sustainability for the Thai tourism industry in the long run.

Thailand’s fast-growing tourism and hotel businesses that generate large amounts of income each year in the country face an unprecedented crisis from the COVID-19 outbreak. and tends to last a long time This paper analyzes the direction of tourism sector recovery in the changing social and economic context. as well as propose guidelines for the adjustment of the hotel business during the transition as well as analyze the landscape of future tourism after the epidemic crisis. To help tourism and hotel operators adapt to the changing context.

The impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on hotel business is severe and likely to last a long time.
The COVID-19 outbreak has prompted governments in many countries around the world to impose lockdown measures to curb international travel (Figure 1), causing the number of global tourist arrivals to shrink to a record . In 2020, the number of global tourist arrivals dropped 72% YoY, especially in the Asia-Pacific region (-82% YoY). Currently, the global epidemic situation is still in a critical condition. Many countries, including Thailand, face a new wave of outbreaks. As a result, the number of new patients continues to increase.

The impact of the epidemic is severe and likely to last a long time due to (1) vaccine development. This includes the effectiveness of infection prevention. production and distribution There is still uncertainty (2) even though the vaccine has already begun to produce and distribute the vaccine in many countries. But the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that herd immunity requires injections to cover 65-70% of the population. This takes a huge amount of time and budget, and (3) tourist confidence will not recover as quickly as the crisis in the past, the University of California estimates after the epidemic is over. People’s concerns about the epidemic will persist for at least three to six months. In addition, sharp declines in income and purchasing power mean that demand for travel, which is considered a luxury, will take time to recover.

Thailand’s tourism sector has deteriorated heavily. The promulgation of the Royal Decree on Emergency (25 March 2020) and measures to temporarily prohibit aircraft from flying into Thailand (3 April 2020 – 30 September 2020) make it impossible during April – September 2020. However, since October 2020, a limited number of foreign tourists have been able to return in accordance with the Special Tourist Visa (STV) measures under strict restrictions such as 14-day quarantine, pre/post-travel health checks. life insurance As a result, in the first 11 months of 2020, the number of foreign tourists contracted 81.4% YoY, led by Chinese (-87.7% YoY) and India (-85.5% YoY). Around 1.5 trillion baht in foreign tourists in 2020, from 1.9 trillion baht in 2019.

Thailand’s hotel business has been hit with unprecedented severity. The national average occupancy rate for the first 11 months was 29.3%, compared with 69.7% in the same period last year, while the nationwide median income per room contracted 73.6%.

Operators are accelerating adjustments to be able to continue their business, such as reducing room prices. Modify the service model Focusing on the domestic tourism market, reducing expenses and earning income from related businesses, etc. Many hotels offer Work From Hotel services instead of Work From Home, including collaborating with an application to order food online from restaurants in hotels. In addition, many hotels (some cooperate with medical institutions/hospitals) serve as detention centers in Bangkok and its vicinity (Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) and 9 provinces (Alternative Local). State Quarantine: ALSQ) including Phuket, Surat Thani (Koh Samui), Chonburi (Pattaya), Prachinburi, Buriram, Mukdahan, Chiang Mai, Phang Nga and Chiang Rai (as of January 8, 2021) to accommodate foreign customers who enter Thailand and are subject to government quarantine policies. At the same time, many small and medium-sized hotels have to close.

Megatrend influence on tourism will change.
over the years The tourism industry is influenced by global megatrends, including social, economic, political, environmental and technological changes. Tourism has changed from the original before the epidemic The tourism and hotel business was driven by Megatrend, namely the expansion of the middle class. Finding new attractions adoption of modern technology and health-conscious tourism. However, COVID-19 has affected such factors. Some things were accelerated. something was slowed down Krungsri Research has therefore analyzed the factors affecting the hotel business in the future, mainly in 4 areas: (1) Demographic and social change (2) Tourism adjustments to meet individual needs (Individualization), (3) the adoption of technology to change the business model and automatic control systems (Digital transformation and automation), and (4) health and hygiene comes first (Health and hygiene).

I. Demographic and social change
Over the years, demographic and social megatrends have often spoken of the expansion of the growing middle class, particularly in emerging economies. This will drive the demand for tourism in the future. However , the COVID-19 epidemic has severely affected the middle class with rising unemployment and falling incomes (Source World Bank). Looking at the driving force of tourism demand has changed completely. Originally, it was viewed from a “Broad-based approach” to a “Targeted approach” depending on the needs and behaviors of tourists in each generation (Generation) as follows:

Gen Y and Gen Z are modern groups. Therefore, technology is used to create convenience in tourism. Loves adventure travel and has the purpose of exploring experiences. They often travel alone, in pairs, or in small groups. Despite some fear of the epidemic, they are ready to set off again. However, these tourists have limited budgets and short rest days.
The Gen X group focuses on travel that creates a memorable experience. family travel sports tourism or business trip After the COVID-19 outbreak, Gen X groups will be more cautious in their spending due to the economic impact. In addition, Gen X groups are more likely to have families and have to take care of the elderly. Therefore, they are more concerned about travel than Gen Z and Gen Y. Travel spending is less budgetary. Often travel during long weekends and not very long distances
Baby-boomers and silver hair before the COVID-19 pandemic, the group is speculated to have potential in tourism spending. Due to high purchasing power and no restrictions on travel time but after the epidemic They are especially worried about traveling. This is because empirical data suggest that older adults are more likely to experience severe infectious side effects compared to other populations. This can lead to serious and life-threatening illnesses. Hotel operators therefore need to come up with strategies that will help build their confidence. especially in terms of cleanliness

II. Adjusting tourism to meet individual needs (Individualization)
In the past, the tourism sector has always focused on creating new destinations (Emerging destinations)[1] to attract tourists of all age groups, but the COVID-19 crisis has caused the demand and behavior of tourists to vary in different periods. age Moreover, building new tourist attractions often takes a lot of resources. Both human resources, time and budget may not be suitable for the post-crisis economy. Therefore , entrepreneurs should focus on analyzing the needs of different and diverse tourists. to offer services that meet individual needs whether it is a travel plan activities of interest and appropriate budget It takes advantage of advances in technology that make data storage and processing processes more efficient and more tailored to the needs of each traveler.such as public relations and marketing to target tourists according to age groups focusing on attracting tourists who take advantage of the government’s tourism stimulus measures, etc.

III. Applying technology to change the business model and automation control system (Digital transformation and automation)
In the past, technology has played an important role in life. from communication, learning, thinking, and even consumer behavior As a result, entrepreneurs use technology to operate their business, such as online booking and payment systems. It is also used as a marketing support tool. Starting from communication to inspire wanting to use the service. Use it as a handy tool while staying in a hotel or accommodation. as well as having an evaluation system after using the service even to build on the re-use of the service under the new normal (New normal) after the COVID-19 crisis (such as keeping distance, Direct exposure reduction) Tourism and hotel businesses are exponentially more likely to adopt technology. To build confidence among tourists and maintain their competitivenessIn addition, modern technology has also helped to enhance the tourism value chain, which is complex because it is an economic sector linked to many business groups such as hotels, tour operators, transportation, food businesses, retail, raw material suppliers. local business operators, etc., allowing operators in the chain to be connected through various platforms, including developing businesses to meet the needs of different and diverse tourists.

Examples of the use of technology to change the hotel business model are as follows:
The use of robots and artificial intelligence (Robotics and Artificial Intelligence) , such as robots in the reception. Robot check-in Robots provide tourist information that can automatically process language translations. Luggage delivery robots and room service Robots cleaning germs by UV systems, security robots, etc., while artificial intelligence innovations can communicate with humans like real humans. They can also perform complex tasks quickly. accurate and effective
Using electronic devices connected to the Internet to be able to control devices in the room (Internet of Things (IoT)) is a convenience for guests and responds to the behavior of reducing direct contact. It is also creating new travel experiences, such as smart hotel rooms where guests can control the electrical devices in the room from a single point. Connecting to a control system from a mobile device or using sound to control electrical devices such as adjusting brightness, temperature, turning the TV on and off, speakers, etc.
The use of data analytics is the systematic analysis of big data to help operators deliver services and products that meet the needs of individual travelers, for example, tailored travel packages. with the right timing and channel It includes analyzing historical data to forecast demand growth. seasonal trends and the preferences of tourists as well as analyzing fundamental social media data to see market trends and traveler interests.

IV. Health and hygiene comes first (Health and hygiene)
In the future, tourism and hotel businesses will pay more attention to safety, health and sanitation. in the past few years People turn to health care This can be seen in the trend of health tourism and sports such as cycling and marathon running, as well as the popularity of exercise. After the COVID-19 outbreak, tourists will pay more attention to destination health policies and / the health of tourist attractions. As outdoor activities become more popular (To avoid entering crowded, congested or closed areas), entrepreneurs should cooperate with the surrounding communities. To develop the locality to be safe, clean, free from the risk of disease.

4B The direction of tourism and hotel business in Thailand
Due to the COVID-19 situation that is still spreading around the world Krungsri Research has therefore analyzed the possible trends of the recovery of the Thai tourism sector and the adaptation of the hotel business. Travel mobility and Fears were the main factors in the analysis . From Figure 8, the horizontal axis is the dimension of travel mobility. with the left side being “Travel liberalization” and the right side is “closing borders” or limiting the number of tourists entering the country. The vertical axis is the dimension of epidemic concerns, with tourists at the top feeling “fear” of travel and at the bottom feeling “enjoying” the trip. Thus, the recovery period of tourism business can be divided into 4 periods as follows:

Part 1: Travel to Thailand… Start again (Begin over)
The first period is when people still have concerns about communicable diseases causing some groups of tourists to fear travel. while international travel is still limited People in the country strictly adhere to physical distancing measures, so travel patterns during this period are short trips. It doesn’t take long to travel prefer to use a private car to travel and focus on tourist attractions that are not crowded

Research considers During this period it is important to focus on hygiene safety standards and issuing measures to stimulate tourism in the country for all age groups. especially to support tourism of Gen Z and Gen Y groups who have less fear of disease. At the same time, hoteliers are still able to implement strict social distancing measures to accommodate the higher purchasing power of Gen X and baby boomers.

Most domestic tourists are ready to come back to travel again. by focusing on nearby attractions The Tourism Council of Thailand surveyed Thai people’s opinions on tourism plans in the 3rd quarter of 2020 and their expectations about the COVID-19 pandemic with 400 Thai tourists across the country . country Between 10-25 May 2020, select a specific sample group. Only for people with income of 10,000 baht or more, it was found that 64% of Thais had plans to travel to other provinces. Of these, 35% want to travel to nearby provinces and stay overnight, 27% travel across regions and 25% travel to nearby provinces but do not stay overnight. for an overnight period Most had plans to stay between 1-3 days (76%), followed by 4-6 days (15%) and more than 7 days (5%). Travelers preferred to stay at hotels the most (41%), followed by travelers. namely resorts (29%) and their own houses / relatives’ houses (25%).Although the results of such surveys have been conducted a long time ago. But it can reflect an interesting point of view, namely, during the worst epidemic situation in the country, the lockdown measures were the strictest (during the 2nd quarter of 2020) and the feeling of fear was the most. But most Thai people still have confidence and plan to travel soon. from such trends Therefore, it is expected that a new wave of the epidemic will temporarily affect tourism in the country and should recover in the second quarter of 21.

Adjustment of the hotel business in the first phase:

Build confidence in sanitation standards (Amazing Thailand Safety & Health Administration: SHA) to enhance the safety of tourists. to create an image of a clean and disease-free tourism area
Use pricing campaigns to attract Gen Z, Gen Y and Gen X tourists and attract 4-5 nights longer stays to increase revenue.
Reshape services to reduce physical exposure, such as online check-in. Using cashless secure technology is optional.
Cooperate with the community to make plans to restore tourist attractions and natural resources. Create a tourism project with innovative methods [2] along with a tourist attraction booking system to determine the number of tourists who visit each day not to be too crowded.

Part 2: Thailand travels to Thailand… Fun in every province (Boost fun)
During this period, international borders were also closed to contain the spread. But domestic tourists began to relieve their concerns. This makes tourism activities diverse and can cover all groups of people. Traveling in the country will be longer. And the mode of travel covers planes, boats and private cars.

Research views that the tourism and hotel industries should focus on raising the number of domestic tourists back to the same level as before the COVID-19 outbreak. especially baby-boomers and silver hair tourists due to their high purchasing power They have more time to travel than other age groups. Dusit Thani College has analyzed the travel needs of the elderly and found that most of them travel for leisure. often travel with family like cultural tourism health tourism and slow life tourism, making travelling for the elderly take a long time due to emphasis on value, quality and safety

The development of creative tourism (Creative tourism) will be possible.which is an extension of cultural tourism by focusing on creating experiences participatory learning with cultural arts Give tourists the opportunity to experience Communicate with communities and lifestyles that are unique to the area. Two examples of the success of creative tourism in the country are (1) Ban Rai Kong Khing, Chiang Mai Province, offering standardized homestay and home lodge accommodation. Organic products are made Community famous food tasting activity and a flower khan flower dance show to bless tourists and (2) Ban Phra Pim Laksamansilp, province. Sukhothai presents creative activities in arts/crafts and folk dances. Activities of “Celadon” pottery, amulet printing and weaving. Each province in Thailand has different cultural attractions and distinctive local identity. Therefore, participation from all sectors should be created in order to develop a comprehensive creative tourism throughout the value chain. This will help attract more tourists in the country.

Adjustment of the hotel business in Phase 2:

Increased confidence among domestic tourists – especially the silver hair group, who are more concerned with hygiene than others
Take advantage of technology by bringing data to study and analyze to meet the needs of each group of tourists.
Hotel operators should cooperate with local communities to promote the development of tourist attractions such as temples, restaurants, etc. so that every province has a strong selling point.
Cost cuts are still needed. because foreign tourists have not returned

Part 3: Matchmaking… Loan for Thai tourism (Bubble tourism)
This is the period when some international travel borders are opened. But people and communities still fear the epidemic. Tourism is therefore in the form of bubble tourism, which is the agreement of the state to travel between paired countries without quarantine. Thailand may choose to enter into agreements with countries that have good control over the spread of the disease. And tourists are fond of traveling to Thailand such as China, Singapore, Vietnam and Australia (Figure 12). which may cooperate with insurance companies or has a clear disease prevention policy

Foreign tourists have more confidence to travel abroad. but also cautious A study by the Tourism Council of Thailand surveying 200 foreign tourists between May 1-20, 2020, found that 52% of respondents planned to travel abroad after the COVID-19 crisis. And 31% of tourists plan to travel abroad once the vaccine is available (Figure 13). Meanwhile, research by and Ctrip (the world’s 1st largest online travel management website and 2nd largest online travel agency) found. that Thailand is the first country that Chinese tourists think of after the COVID-19 crisis, followed by Japan and Singapore (as of May 2020).

Research estimates that international tourism matching may occur in 2021. In the early stages, it may start to be opened individually for easy disease control and screening, such as provinces that rely mainly on foreign tourists such as Phuket, Surat Thani (Koh Samui), etc. Although in the beginning, tourism pairings were still unable to attract as many tourists back to Thailand as they should. But it should increase readiness to accept foreign tourists in the next period.

Hotel business adjustment in phase 3:

Build confidence in cleanliness, safety and epidemic control guidelines. Thailand has been praised by the World Health Organization for managing the COVID-19 situation very well in the past. And many hotels across the country have received the SHA logo, which is the traveler’s hygiene safety standard.
Create a cluster or pilot province as a model for receiving foreign tourists. This should be an area that relies mainly on foreign tourists. and a closed area (such as Phuket, Koh Samui) for ease of disease control

Part 4: Save… Enjoy Thailand (Build-Back-Better)
This is when tourism is back to normal again. The borders of international travel have been opened freely. And people come back to enjoy their travels.Tourists are now as comfortable traveling as before COVID-19 due to widespread use of vaccines. Traveling by plane returns to normal. The number of tourists and related activities resumed as before. whether it is a business trip international conference including the exhibition Although the timing of recovery into this period is uncertain. But if the development in the 3rd period has gone well In addition, most countries have become more confident and gradually allow more tourists to travel in and out of the country. These will be a sign of entering a period of rejuvenation. Therefore, Thai tourism and hotel businesses need to develop competitiveness. by accelerating strengths and repairing weaknesses (see Box 1) in order to prepare for the The future of tourism, which has at least five characteristics:

Box 1: The potential of Thai tourism in the future​

Thailand is a highly competitive country in tourism. The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum (WEF) rated Thailand’s tourism proficiency in 2019 at 31 (out of 139 countries around the world), well adjusted. Up from 34th place in 2017, Thailand’s strengths lie in its outstanding natural resources. Infrastructure for tourist services and prices, but has weaknesses in safety, health and the environment (Figure 14).

Research analyzed by using the gravity model to study the preferences of tourists from 48 countries. It was found that Thailand is an important destination for tourists in many countries. It was ranked among the top 10 destinations in almost every country studied (Figure 15) by Indian tourists. Russia and Cambodia view Thailand as the second-most tourist destination, while China and Malaysia view Thailand as the eighth destination, demonstrating an opportunity to welcome international tourists if the COVID-19 crisis resolves

. Cultural, environmental, and price are the three key factors in travel decisions. while transportation infrastructure is the least influential.

When considering only the top 20 countries with the most tourists coming to Thailand, it was found that Cultural and natural attractions, prices and safety It is the top three factors when deciding to travel. With tourists from China, safety is the first priority. followed by the readiness of ICT and cultural attractions While tourists from Malaysia, India, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom pay more attention to the price factor.

Thailand is likely to face more intense competition in tourism. because different countries It is accelerating investment in infrastructure to stimulate the economy. including supporting the growth of the tourism industry Especially countries that have begun to open for entry and exit and are new markets in the tourism arena, such as Vietnam, which have advantages in tourism resources that are still new and still exist. In addition, the topography and climate are similar to Thailand. There is also a plan to expand the transportation network throughout the country. meanwhile Some countries receive financial support from foreign investors. (Especially China), which has contributed to investment in infrastructure projects. concrete faster

The density of tourist attractions is the main problem of Thai tourism going forward. Concentration of tourists has long been a major problem for Thai tourism. especially during the festival which has a long continuous holiday Many major tourist attractions are packed with both Thai and foreign tourists. This was partly due to accelerating public relations for new attractions. but lack of development of such places to accommodate future tourists coupled with a lack of proper management Therefore causing congestion of tourists, especially in major tourist cities such as Pattaya, Phuket, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai, the attractiveness of attracting tourists of such tourist attractions has decreased. which has contributed to foreign tourists starting to look for new attractions similar to Thai especially in ASEAN countries such as Vietnam, Myanmar and the Philippines.

Inter-regional travel tends to decline. while tourism in the same region and in the country will increase from the uncertainty of the global economic direction and concerns about the epidemic causing tourists to become interested in traveling in their own country and traveling in the same region instead of traveling long distances in different regions partly to save costs. In addition, many countries tend to support domestic tourism in order to increase income to compensate for the uncertainty of the foreign tourist market. This is in line with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) report that the number of international tourists around the world is likely to slow down in the coming period. especially from intercontinental tourism

environmental issues Cultural tourist attractions and ICT readiness are becoming increasingly important. This includes infrastructure for tourist services. land transport and health factors Meanwhile, air transport and its expenditures had a decreasing effect on travel decision making (Figure 16).

The changing demand for tourism has reduced the competitiveness of the Thai tourism industry. looking forward Factors that used to be prominent in Thailand, such as tourism personnel Air transport and prices have decreased in importance. Meanwhile, environmental issues, which are Thailand’s weak points, are becoming increasingly important. In addition, many countries have accelerated investment in infrastructure for tourist services. Develop more tourist attractions and open up more countries especially in nearby countries There are new tourist attractions that are cheaper, making Thailand’s tourism advantages tend to decrease in the future.

Even at present, Thailand’s competitiveness in the world tourism market is good. But the capacity gap between Thailand and countries in the region tends to decrease. Makes the view of Thailand’s tourism towards other countries may change from the original competition to more cooperation Thailand may have to change its role from the former accepting foreign tourists. to be received and distributed to other countries in the region, which not only reduce the price competition between but also to increase competitiveness and diversify tourism Factors affecting cooperation include visa policy, interconnected transport infrastructure such as the Bangkok-Phnom Penh-Ho Chi Minh route, Phuket-Phang-nga-Ranong-Myanmar Sea. or the Hat Yai-Kuala Lumpur-Singapore train, etc.

Box 2: Technology that will play a role in tourism in a new way

1 year agoDigital Technology and Mobile Communications This allows consumers to connect to information easily, conveniently and quickly. Currently, Deloitte estimates that more than 80% of the world’s population owns at least one smartphone. Meanwhile, about 33% of the population in developed countries and 50% in developing countries. Use your phone within five minutes of waking up. show that Many people use Smart devices on a regular basis, especially for communicating and searching for information. Tourists can search for information easily. In addition, tour operators and hotels can market through social media or use various applications such as booking rooms. (directly with hotels and via OTAs), car bookings, digital maps, etc.
Virtual reality technologies include Augmented reality and Virtual reality, which combine simulated objects or places with the real world. through the perception of sight, touch, sound or even smell The virtual world technology can play a role in the tourism industry, such as choosing a place. Enter an educational museum or even act as a tour guide. An obvious example is using Google street view to view places. or used for navigation
data analysis It will enhance the ability of entrepreneurs in the business to better respond to customers. Today, there is a huge amount of emerging data, especially information about tourists, travel and location, which will help operators analyze tourist needs and be able to respond more appropriately and specifically. The ability to access and analyze data will be the key differentiator between Brands.

Adjust hotel business strategies to cope with the changing tourism landscape.
Research views that tourism business will remain sluggish in the next few years before gradually recovering along with the emergence of a new normal of tourism. of tourists who have changed Therefore, tourism and hotel operators should expedite adjustments in order to sustainably operate their business, such as liquidity management. to meet the needs of tourists to the right Risk Management including finding new opportunities in tourism-related businesses The details are as follows.

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