Thailand searches down by a third, finds study

UK online searches for accommodation in Thailand have dropped 24% following a military takeover in the country, according to hotel price comparison website

The UK figure is slightly below the overall 26% drop in global searches when comparing searches made on the site the week before the coup, May 15 to 21, and the week after the coup, May 22 to 29.

However, other countries have witnessed far bigger declines week on week than the UK. Searches by Trivago users in Spain following the military takeover were down 52%, in Portugal by 51%, Turkey 48%, Canada 44% and the US 43%.

Searches for alternative destinations such as nearby Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia have increased during the same period. Searches for Spain were up 26%, Ireland 22%, Sweden 22% and Poland up 21%.

For the UK, searches for accommodation in Indonesia are up by 18% since the coup but there is no significant change for Cambodia or Vietnam searches.

Prices have also dropped for hotels in Thailand since the change in rule. On average, one night’s accommodation this month (June) will cost £50 instead of £59 in June last year. Destinations popular with the UK market where there have been significant price decreases include Patong Beach, down 16% to an average of £42; Pattaya, down 15% to an average of £41; and Bangkok, down 15% to £45.

A spokeswoman said: “Although the year-on-year decrease in hotel prices cannot be attributed to the coup, it is common to see hotel prices drop in countries with military or civil unrest. It is unfortunate to see a country that relies so heavily on tourism experience a sharp decline in hotel searches over a short period of time.”

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