Inside Phuket’s Workforce

There has been a lot of news lately regarding investment across Asia and the state of the skilled workforce in place to help manage that investment. As we have moved into 2020 where we have seen the first part of the year affected by the Coronavirus, let us reflect on how we left 2019 and what can be expected in 2020, once we return to normal.

The Nation Thailand recently reported that Asia is set to continue its upward trajectory as a buoyant industrial hub, with solid investments from abroad, particularly from China, adding to this momentum and being key drivers to market expansion, according to the 20th edition Robert Walters’ Salary Survey 2019.

The annual salary survey offers a comprehensive review of professional salaries and illuminates recruitment trends both globally, internationally and locally. The overall picture is of expansion, with competitive salaries for in-demand skills and greater appreciation of talent by employers along with increased demand for local workers with an international background for expanding markets. The key take-away is that companies need to streamline, and in many sectors such as banking, speed-up the recruitment process, highlighting what they have to offer would-be employees in the 2019-20 skills-driven markets.

Whilst businesses in Southeast Asia are mining local recruits, the Salary Survey 2019 emphasises how companies are increasingly looking for ‘glocal’ employees; locally based staff with international experience as companies expand to other territories. In short, 2019 is expected to be a dynamic year for recruitment regionally, benefiting both businesses and the job market.

Many regional trends are reflected in Thailand, particularly the rise of digital-skill drivers and the demand for internationally experienced local talent, according to Gerrit Bouckaert, Managing Director for Robert Walters Thailand & Vietnam. “An international perspective is being sought from employees in Thailand more than ever, according to the Robert Walters’ Salary Survey 2019, as Thai companies expand regionally and internationally, elevating the need for English-speaking professionals. At the same time, 2019 was the year of digital transformation, fueling the need for digital talent across the board.”

Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard may continue to find professionals with problem-solving and project-management skills in short supply to channel into mid-to-high-level executive roles. It is predicted this will strengthen salary demands for the right candidates as well as pushing employers to streamline the recruitment process. Employee engagement efforts will become more important along with attracting personnel through positive employer branding as companies seek to leverage social media platforms to boost their reputation in the job market. There was also a greater need in 2019 for businesses to highlight in-company opportunities for promotion and movement. As recruitment is fine-tuned, 2019 – 20 could see businesses bring certain roles such as legal positions in-house.

The four main factors determining job satisfaction in 2019 were work-life balance, remuneration, feedback and encouragement from management as well as training and opportunities. The top motivators for switching jobs in 2019 will be the promise of career progression, either a pay rise and/or improved benefits plus a better work-life balance.

Professionals will continue to feel positive by the end of 2019, with 90 per cent feeling confident about job markets in their sectors. Salaries are set to rise for job movers by 15-20 per cent for back-office roles and by 20-30 per cent for front-office positions as well as employees with niche skill sets.

Specialist in the recruitment market such as Sonia Fernandez, Associate Manager at Michael Page adds

“Thailand remains one of the strongest manufacturing bases in the ASEAN region. Driven by Thailand 4.0 and foreign direct investment, there has been a high demand for technical candidates by MNCs who are looking to launch operations locally or replace expatriate hires.

However, there is a limited availability of such candidates, making for a very competitive recruitment market. Currently, there is a shortage of Thais with appropriate communication and leadership skills, and a large proportion of the workforce needs to develop these capacities which are necessary to perform at the top levels of large companies.

To be able to secure the best talent, organisations should conduct a pre-emptive, detailed, market mapping exercise to understand who is available in the market. They will also need to track candidates’ progression and movement, so they are better equipped to understand the availability of candidates when vacancies arise. In addition, they should recruit for industry 4.0. That is, to focus on capability instead of degree and qualification, looking for skills such as learning agility, creativity and adaptability.

The current initiatives put forth by the Ministry of Labour’s Development Skill Department aims to prepare future technical graduates for industry 4.0. This includes establishing partnerships between universities and organisations for internship programs; as well as redesigning or introducing new Degree and Master courses. The desired outcome is a hope that Thailand will be able to curb the candidate shortage within a period of 5 years. I believe that this will impact the recruitment market positively down the road”

Source: The Nation Thailand and Michael Page Recruitment

Further Education

Education is a very important decision to consider when moving to a school or university in a foreign country. Phuket has a wide rage of institutions to choose from. This guide from VillaCarte will help you find the right institution for your child.

There are a wide range of international educational institutions here, having finished which students can enter higher educational establishments in England or USA. The future prospects depend on the curriculum of the school you child attended. When selecting a school, it is important to learn if the school has the international accreditation. Check its availability otherwise the education process will be complicated.

The first thing that you notice is that the majority of schools begin tuition of kids in the nursery school, i.e. in the age between 1.5 and 2 years. By the age of 5 years kids stay in the kindergarten then they attend primary school (between 5 and 10 years) followed by the secondary school (between 11 and 14 years) and high school (between 15 and 18 years).

Big schools have rest houses and summer camps where children can spend their time with friends, take part in the creative activities or improve their knowledge in certain school subjects.

British International School, Phuket

Year of the foundation: 1996
Kindergarten: from the age of 3 years
1st school year: from the age of 5 years
Website: Http://
Facilities on the territory of the school: laboratories for practical classes, linguistic classrooms, musical classrooms, art studio, theatre hall. Open swimming pools 50 and 25 meters long, football fields, tennis courts, baseball pitch, covered gym, fitness room, dance studio. The territory is under 24-hour protection.

British International School — The school of complete academic cycle. It accepts kids between 3 and 18 years old for day classes or boarding school. It is considered to be one of the best in South-Eastern Asia. The curriculum is based on the British educational model for the primary and secondary school. Teachers from Great Britain, Australia and USA work at school, thus the language of teaching is English. There is a Russian speaking assistant who can help the new students to adapt to the new environment.

Besides the academic curriculum, there is a summer camp at school, where every July kids from different countries go info sports together, entertain and travel while learning English and practicing their communication skills in the international environment.

Having finished the British International School, the students enter British universities, because the final test result at school is accepted as the entrance tests in the universities.

Cost of education in the kindergarten: USD 8,000 per year
Cost of education at school: between USD 15,400 and USD 19,600
Cost of the school campus: between USD 8,200 and USD 10,700

Phuket International Academy (PIA)

Year of the foundation: 2008
Kindergarten: from the age of 1.5 years
1st school year: from the age of 7 years
Facilities on the territory of the school: 1-storeyed houses for students, football field, swimming pool, tennis court, basketball pitch and a playground. The school territory is under 24-hour protection.

All school subjects are taught in English, but there is a special assistant who helps kinds with poor English to adapt to the new environment.

Cost of education in the kindergarten: USD 6,400 per year
Cost of education at school: between USD 15,000 and USD 18,400
Cost of the school campus:  USD 15,000

Head Start Phuket

Year of the foundation: 2005
Kindergarten: from the age of 1.5 years
1st school year: from the age of 5 years
Facilities on the territory of the school: computer classroom, dance and wrestling hall, football field.

Head Start Phuket was originally a small homelike school. In 2015, it expanded and moved to the new academic buildings. However, the focus on the individual approach and a quiet family environment was preserved.

The curriculum is based on Cambridge international curriculum. The school is focused on learning languages, so the students learn several languages including Thai. The school leavers can enter Cambridge University and other British universities.

Cost of education in the kindergarten: USD 6,200 per year
Cost of education at school: between USD 8,300 and USD 10,600
School campus: n/a

QSI International School

Year of the foundation: 2000
Kindergarten: from the age of 4 years
1st school year: from the age of 5 years
Facilities on the territory of the school: library, computer classroom, sports and play grounds, football field.

At the moment of foundation, the school was targeted to children of American diplomats, that is why the US curriculum was accepted as the basis. The teachers are mostly from North America.

Cost of education in the kindergarten: USD 4,000 USD per year
Cost of education at school: USD 12,000
School campus: n/a

Kajonkietsuksa School

Year of the foundation: 2013
Kindergarten: from the age of 3 years
1st school year: from the age of 5 years
Facilities on the territory of the school: there are three schools on Phuket in Thalang, Chalong and Kathu districts.

They have two curricula: English and international. Teachers are from Great Britain and Thailand.

Cost of education at school: USD 3,600 under English curriculum and USD 7,200 under the international curriculum
School campus: n/a

OAK Medow School Phuket

Year of the foundation: 2015
Kindergarten: from the age of 3 years
1st school year: from the age of 5 years
Facilities on the territory of the school: sports ground and playground

The school originally was a kindergarten, but now it includes all educational stages up to the student’s age of 18 years. The language of tuition is English, and the American curriculum is taken as the basis.

Cost of education at school: USD 4,300 per year
School campus: n/a

Palm School Phuket

Year of the foundation: 2010
1st school year:  from the age of 5 years
Facilities on the territory of the school: library, sports ground, field hockey pitch, tennis court, rock climbing zone.

It is located in Rawai. It is the only international school in the southern part of the island now. Palm School Phuket is a small school founded by an Englishman, that is why the curriculum is based on the English educational system here.

Cost of education at school: USD 6,800 per year
School campus: n/a

The Rawai Progressive International School

Year of the foundation: 2010
Kindergarten: from the age of 3 years
1st school year: from the age of 6 years
Facilities on the territory of the school: classrooms and game rooms.

The curriculum is based on Maria Montessori educational system. The main focus is made on the English language and the traditional Thai cultural values. Consciousness and respect are the key values cultivated in kids. The Rawai Progressive International School is an interesting alternative to the classical American and English school.

Cost of education in the kindergarten: USD 5,500 USD per year
Cost of education at school: USD 7,100 per year
School campus: n/a

Source: VillaCarte –

Best areas to buy property in Phuket

There are many different types of properties to choose from in Phuket.

Popular places include Patong and Cherng Talay, however no matter where you are looking for your investment property the different styles, views local amenities will all play a part in your decision making. Price maybe the key as to the area of Phuket you wish to lay down roots

Phuket had been a market dictated by noticeable high and low seasons in the past, but a levelling out has taken place in recent years. This is due in part to the island’s booming tourism sector.

According to Phuket Tourism Association Phuket welcomed 14.4m passenger arrivals in 2018 and expecting a rise of 7-8% in 2019, however those numbers will be much lower in 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Historically most areas do see an increase in inquiries during the traditional high season (December-February). Some locations may have also recorded a secondary surge in demand between July and September and this can be partially attributed to people making plans for the high season, however again the climate has changed in Phuket at present and until the ravel ban is lifted then interest in property maybe slow.

That being said, 2020 maybe a good time to look at that investment. With the economy in Asia unsettled with the coronavirus, there could be many bargains to be had in property for the next 12 months as sellers want to cash in on their assets.

We took a look at Siam Real Estate to get a feel for the average prices toy can expect to pay for buying a property on Phuket.


Property type: 1-bedroom condo

Average price: THB4-5 million


Property type: 1-bedroom condo

Average price: THB5-6 million


Property type: 1-bedroom condo

Average price: THB4-5 million


Property type: 1-bedroom condo

Average price: THB3.6-5 million

Cherng Talay

Property type: 1-bedroom condo

Average price: THB4-5 million


Property type: 3-bedroom house/villa

Average price: THB7-12 million

Nai Harn

Property type: 3-bedroom house/villa

Average price: THB9-14 million

Bang Tao

Property type: 3-bedroom house/villa

Average price: THB11-20 million


Property type: 4-bedroom house/villa

Average price: THB9.5 -17 million


Property type: 3-bedroom house/villa

Average price: THB20-40 million


Property type: 1-bedroom condo

Average price: THB3-6m

Finding the right office space

The market for co-working space in Thailand is growing quickly, estimated to increase by 25% year between 2018 and 2021, driven by both local and international players.

Phattarachai Taweewong, senior manager of research at property consultant Colliers International Thailand, recently said co-working space is increasingly becoming an alternative to serviced, mini and home offices.

“The market for co-working space is driven by demand from new generations,” he said. “They want a place to work that is easy to reach at an affordable cost.”

The market has also expanded to provinces like Chiang Mai, Phuket and Songkhla. These destinations have become a hub for foreign travellers in n Co-working offers a social environment that encourages interactions and knowledge sharing. This is well in line with the changing lifestyle of workers and corporate cultures in the emerging digital economy.

Companies consider co-working space as an alternative workplace option, not only because of the collaborative environment, but also for flexibility.

The short contract commitments and individual membership structures let companies quickly accommodate changes in headcount and support mobile workers like sales teams more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Recently, Noelle Coak, Regus’s country head for Thailand, Taiwan and Korea, said co-working spaces have emerged as the definitive environment for startups, entrepreneurs and those who think outside of the box, to not only work but to bring people together and build a real community.

“Most startup employees and entrepreneurs are millennials and are accustomed to being connected all of the time,” she said, “so it’s no surprise that they are increasingly looking for more inspiring options when working, such as business lounges, co-working spaces, short-term offices or drop-in centres.

“Worker demand is changing, and it’s up to Thai businesses to evolve with their changing workforce.”

Co-Working space is very much in demand now in places such as Phuket, we have seen similar success with start ups and digital nomads utilizing places such as Bali as a destination to set up business. Investment in fibre optic broadband and local infrastructure has made remote islands such as Phuket the ideal place to work and play identify 53 Co-working spaces in Phuket and that number is set to rise especially as more people decide that they want to change their work-life balance.

Established companies such as Regus have set up base in Phuket and many of the island’s hotels are now offering co-working space as part of their business services. Many independents such as Srithanu Beach, Moo 8 Koh Phangan

have shot up across the island so there is plenty of choice for where you want to harness your goals and inspire your dreams.

Events, Workshops and Team Building

Phuket is the ideal place for hosting a trade show or exhibition, where you can bring your industry together under the blue skies and the golden beaches of a remarkable island.

Many of the islands hotels can cater for large scale events for business and whether you are looking to host a new product launch, a celebration dinner, training workshops for your sales teams or even a team building event then there is much to choose from both indoors and out in Phuket.

Many of the 4- and 5-star hotels offer amazing settings for your event, with first class facilities and specialist planning teams that are ready to ensure a successful event.

It is not just hotels that can offer you an inspirational venue for your conference or meeting.

Red Mountain Golf Club is located in Phuket, Thailand and is surely one of Asia’s most exciting new courses. There is space to do special events accompanied by your choice of food.

The Blue Canyon Country Club offer full-service banquet facilities for golf tournaments, product launches, conferences, meetings, dinner and dance parties, weddings, birthdays, barbecues or any special occasion.

Dream Beach Club is one of the few beach clubs with direct access to the sea. Overlooking the azure Andaman Sea, Dream Beach’s rooftop bar, Level One, is the perfect place to host a company get together, strategy and workshops days and finish with watching a stunning Phuket sunset while enjoying cocktails from the full bar.

For something a little different Underwood Art Factory is a place in Phuket where you can hold functions like parties, ceremonies, theatre performances and many important meetings. They offer large event venues for corporate events and meeting planning.

If your looking for something more adventurous and focusing on team building many Phuket hotels and conference venues, specialise in offering tailored team building activities including MasterChef cooking challenge, Drumming Team Building, and our very popular charity team building activities. These include The Bike factory and The Toy Factory where you build bikes and toys for kids’ orphanages.

Water team building activities include fishing activities, Synergy sailing days, kayaking adventures, Beach Olympics, snorkeling, white water rafting activities and more.

Land team building activities include The Amazing Race Phuket, Corporate Survivor challenges, movie making team building, rock climbing, trekking, and ATV adventures.

Companies such as have western and local facilitators and have designed and facilitated over 4000 team building activities across Asia over the past 15 years. They specialise in designing challenges that are suitable for all languages, cultures and any group size.

Understanding the Business Landscape in Phuket

If you are looking to set up business or relocate to Phuket, then it is worth checking in with The Phuket Chamber of Commerce who supports all local commerce within Phuket province.

The Phuket Chamber of Commerce is located across from the Seng Ho bookstore in downtown Phuket. The Phuket Chamber of Commerce reports to the governor of Phuket and offers help to improve local business and to review product prices.

Phuket chamber of commerce has purpose of supporting any businesses for the benefit of trading industries, finance, and economics in Phuket for example:

  • Announcements of trading information
  • Collecting statistic researching about commerce and economics
  • Consulting and suggesting to members about commerce, industries, agriculture, finance, or economics and helping
  • Judging the trading argument
  • Product origin certification
  • Products exhibitions
  • Quality of products standardization
  • Supporting tourism industry

Cooperation with Government Sector

The Thai Chamber of Commerce acts a central organization to collect opinions and recommendations in solving and developing economy to the government and related authorities.

Provincial Economic Development

The Thai Chamber of Commerce had disseminated ideas and philosophy of the operation of the chamber of commerce institution to businessmen in the provincial area until there were provincial chamber of commerce established in all of the provinces in the country to be core private sectors that facilitate the coordination with the governmental sector to develop the locality. In addition, The Thai Chamber of Commerce of Commerce had established a Border Trading Committee, to promote a development of border trading and collaboration with neighboring countries around the border, to overcome any problems or obstacles as they may occur.

Cooperation and Promotion of Trade with Foreign Countries

The Thai Chamber of Commerce is a representative of the Thai private sector in facilitating and cooperating with governmental and private institutions in foreign countries. In addition, the Thai Chamber of Commerce has also formed the trade representatives to go out for contact and negotiation to expand commerce and investment channels aboard as well as to organize the meeting between the member and foreign trade representatives who visiting Thailand for business negotiation.


The Thai Chamber of Commerce has realized the importance of education. Therefore, it had established the College of Commerce in 1940 prior to world war II, and continuously developed until being recognised as a leading private educational institute of the country and being approved to change its status to University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce in 1984.

Coordination with other Boards

The Thai Chamber of Commerce has participated and coordinated with other Boards, both governmental and private sectors relating to the economic development of the country.

For more information, contact

Phuket Chamber of Commerce
Address: 1/1 Montree Road
Taladyai, Muang
Phuket 83000 Thailand
Tel: (66) 076.217.567
Fax: (66) 076.232.038
Cell: (66) 081.326.2506
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Khun Thamonpat Pinyo

The Phuket Property Industry has been gaining international exposure

The Phuket Property Industry is gaining international exposure

Most people’s first exposure to Thailand is that of a tourist and the thought of buying property was probably not even on their minds. But foreign buyers of Phuket properties are not only holidaymakers.

Global exposure through international property shows now regularly feature villa and condo developments in Bangkok and Phuket. This is further promoted by local real estate advisors to ensure that their client’s property reaches an international audience regardless of whether that property is by a new developer or a resale by a private client.

The international property market is certainly becoming more interconnected as more people travel globally and making all corners of the world easier to reach.

According to Properstar, Changes to one of Thailand’s historic demographic constants is accounting for some of the increased demand in Phuket Property.

The influx of foreign buyers in Phuket – both those coming here to live, as well as those purely looking at investing opportunities – are not the only ones contributing to Phuket’s population growth.

For centuries, multiple generations of Thai families lived together in a single home, or a compound of homes. It was accepted that, when children went off to work, they would either continue living in the home, or if they moved, that their parents would move in with them.

Today, however, many younger Thais are “moving out” and buying their own houses or condominiums. This trend is certainly reflected in the population growth in Phuket which, at circa 7.4% per annum, is a higher rate than that seen in most regions of the country.

In addition to that, the growing wealth among the older generation in Thailand means that many have capital to invest in the property market. A number of wealthy Thais have created property portfolios which include villas and condos in Phuket.

The property market in Phuket is benefiting from both of these trends.

The long-term stability of the Phuket Property market makes it a very attractive place to invest.

One of the main reasons for that stability is this: there is virtually zero lending to foreigners buying Phuket property.

The financial crisis that threatened to melt down global markets in 2008 all started with a mortgage crisis. While complicated financial instruments played their role, the root cause was mortgages which the borrowers could no longer afford.

And the willingness to lend money to those “high risk borrowers” in the first place started a bubble in property which popped when interest rates started to rise.

Because foreigners are prevented from borrowing money for property in Thailand, the industry in Phuket is almost entirely a cash business. Without the lending, there is no risk of default. Without the defaults, there is no boom bust scenario to play out in Phuket.

Tourism may be driving the property market in Phuket but shifting demographics and the ongoing infrastructure improvements both point to strong prospects for Phuket property as a long-term investment.

One thing is plain: foreigners are investing in Phuket property, either as homes or as rental properties, and the market remains buoyant.

Source: Properstar

Phuket International Airport set to reopen in June

After a provincial order was issued on Sunday night, Phuket International Airport is set to re-open in Mid-June leaving the way open for hotels and tourism related businesses to prepare for a resumption of business.

The Phuket office of the Public Relations Department of Thailand (PR Phuket) reported that Phuket airport will reopen on June 15, and boasted that Phuket is ready for arrivals with its control measures that have successfully countered the spread of COVID-19

All people passing through Phuket airport are to follow the same guidelines as were previously announced ahead of the planned May 16th re-opening, which was cancelled just hours before the airport was to reopen.

The announcement which was made by PR Phuket follows yesterday’s announcement by Airports of Thailand management team at Phuket airport that they are ready for passengers to arrive as per Phase 3 of the nationwide relaxation of the COVID-19 lockdown measures.

AoT Phuket made it clear, however in their announcement that operations will not resume until June 16.

AoT Phuket further explained that no domestic flights were permitted to operate at Phuket airport under an order by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) which came into effect at 10:15pm on May 29 and which is currently set to expire at 23:59pm on June 15, “unless otherwise ordered”.

Any persons travelling via the airport are to register details of their intended travel through the PhuketSmartCheck-In app and be issued their own personalised QR code to show airport staff and officials.

No mention was made of any Fit to Travel permit or any self-quarantine requirements.

There was no mention that under another order by the CAAT all inbound international commercial passenger flights into Thailand remain banned until at least June 30.

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Rungrote Thakurapunyasiri explained yesterday that no self-quarantine requirements applied to any persons entering Phuket, except for the eight risk provinces – Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Narathiwat, Yala, Krabi, Prachinburi, Samut Prakan and Chiang Mai – as announced by Phuket Governor Phakahong Tavipatan on May 29th.

In line with Maj Gen Rungrote’s comments yesterday, the AoT Phuket notice further explained that people visiting Phuket for travel or business will see their registration remain valid for seven days, while people coming to Phuket to work and even Phuket residents returning home will both see their registrations remain valid for 30 days.

However, Maj Gen Rungrote yesterday stressed that there will be no fine or legal action for a person’s registration expiring while they are still in Phuket.

“If their QR Code expires, they must re-register again – but there is no need to leave Phuket because of this, and they will not be charged with breaking any law or be forced to pay a fine. They just need to re-register for local officials’ health records,” he said

In the meantime, PR Phuket today reminded people looking to travel via the airport to allow additional one to two hours to their planned travel time in case of delays.

The PR Phuket notice also reminded people that the Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) urges people to observe the ‘new normal’ health regulations.

Hotels preparing to welcome back guests

Amidst record low occupancies, the hospitality industry in Asia Pacific still has high hopes for an early recovery of domestic demand and a gradual return of international guests when the coronavirus outbreak ends. In preparation, hotel owners and operators are introducing various initiatives to create a robust system around health and hygiene to bolster confidence levels of hotel guests during and after COVID-19, according global property consultant JLL.

“The hospitality industry is going through a transformational change and the effects of the pandemic are accelerating its evolution,” says Alex Sigeda, Vice President, Strategic Advisory & Asset Management, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Asia Pacific. “At the top of the agenda for many hotel owners and operators is giving travellers the reassurance of guest safety and strict hygiene standards by securing professional certifications and independent accreditations.”

Global hotel groups such as Hyatt, Marriott, Four Seasons and Hilton have announced extensive safety measures – incorporating electrostatic sprayers to sanitise surfaces, partnering with disinfectant companies, and enlisting the help of health care experts to design new guidelines and protocols. Similarly, Bangkok-based hospitality group Onyx, luxury chain Anantara Resorts, and Hong Kong’s Ovolo Group have all recently announced revamped measures.

Design for new normal

Given the Asia Pacific region was first to experience the effects of the coronavirus, there are signs that it will be also among first to re-emerge.

Travel within China has already picked up, with the five-day May Day holiday period seeing 115 million domestic trips. Korea-based Asiana Air and Korean Air recently resumed the frequency of their domestic flights. Vietnam has recently eased its social distancing measures and reopened the country to domestic tourism. Thailand is gradually easing its lockdown restrictions.

These positive signs have increased the urgency for hotel owners and operators to rethink existing operations, such as buffet lines, check-in and check-out processes, and the layouts of lobbies, function rooms and guestrooms. Menu design, seating arrangements and queue management systems are also being reviewed as part of the increased focus on sanitisation and contamination prevention. Meeting packages and events programs are being revised to accommodate safety requirements around meals and social distancing, while additional IT requirements are being considered to allow for increase in remote conferencing.

Hotels in Asia are at the front end of assessing how to cater to travellers emerging from lockdowns with new sets of protocols and expectations. Hong Kong’s Marco Polo Prince Hotel, which is currently undergoing renovations, is enlarging its club lounge by 30% for more space and privacy while the size of its conference and events space will be adjusted for smaller parties.

“Beyond adding more floor space and clever spatial design to prevent congestion and address social distancing, we could potentially see hotels increasing the number of elevators to prevent overcrowding,” says Sigeda. “On reviewing current load management and elevator efficiencies, some hotels could potentially consider activating service lifts for guest usage during peak periods.”

In addition to the increased focus on space utilisation and functionality of hotel’s hardware, Sigeda says, equal consideration is being given to the softer design touches. Furnishing and surface materials used in hotels and restaurants are being reconsidered in favour of those that are antimicrobial and easy to clean and sanitise.

Boon for technology

Various hotels are increasing their investment in technology in order to create a seamless, contactless stay. While mobile check-ins and digital key cards have already been popular across many hotels, the pandemic has increased their relevance.

Korean online travel unicorn Yanolja revealed that demand for its self-service kiosks launched last November more than doubled since COVID-19 broke. CEO Jong Yoon Kim told reporters at a South Korean travel conference the company is working on a solution that allows accommodation providers to allow guests to check in with simply a QR code.

Robots developed by Softbank Robotics debuted in Tokyo hotels used to house mild COVID-19 patients earlier this month. Besides providing services such as delivering key necessities and picking up meals for those quarantined in their rooms, the robots are also programmed to interact and “cheer patients on.”

In addition to robots getting a boost, Sigeda says hotels might look into technologies ranging from smart-disinfectant closets to germs-detecting ultraviolet scans to sanitise guestrooms to contact tracing check-in systems. Facial recognition, artificial intelligence and other similar technologies are also bound to make a more prominent stay in the hospitality space.

“We expect data to become more important in the day-to-day operations, especially in hotel restaurants and facilities popular with events and conferences. Hotels could further adopt available technology in the fields of building and space management to ensure better ventilation, air and water quality, monitor humidity levels, and control the number of people in common areas to prevent densification,” he adds.

While the industry is stalled at the moment, there is no doubt the travellers will return eventually. “And when they do, the guest experience will need to seamlessly address the new normal,” says Sigeda. “More privacy, more security and more safety assurances will become among the basic expectations from the travellers.”

Source: The Phuket News

Government to boost domestic tourism in July

The government is mulling measures to boost domestic tourism in July, aiming to soften the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, said National Social and Economic Development Council secretary-general Thosaporn Sirisumphand.

He added that the tourism promotion push would likely be launched in July, when the government is expected to lift restrictions and allow country-wide travel.

Among possible government incentives for domestic tourists are coupons for 40-50 per cent discounts on hotel room rates.

The move is part of a plan to lift the sagging economy via a Bt400-billion crisis fund targeted at boosting grass-roots activity including tourism.

Thosaporn said that state agencies could propose project plans to the government screening panel on June 5.

He said that the screening process will be transparent and open to scrutiny, but that the entire Bt400 billion might not be used up.

Source: The Nation, Thailand –