Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Destination Thailand: steal market share while they are not looking!

Photo credit: Johan Fantenberg
With the street political protests reaching 200 days, now exceeding that of the 2010 political crisis, with no indication of a resolution in the near future, and the peak tourist season over, destination Thailand is likely to remain depressed through 2014. Visitor numbers and hotel occupancy remained at record low levels throughout the peak tourist season with little hope for improvement going into the low season. Compounding the problem is the marketing void in originating markets caused by the major travel brands shifting their promotion budgets to more predictable alternate destinations.

But this state of affairs unexpectedly benefit both the smaller operators and independent hotels in Thailand and the independent travel agents in the originating markets as the field is left wide open by the large travel brands as they sidelined destination Thailand to shift their focus on other destinations. In good times, it is very difficult and expensive for the small businesses to compete effectively for market share against their larger competitors, so the misfortune of Thailand tourism becomes an opportunity to reach potential visitors who would normally be drawn to the major travel brands by their highly visible marketing.