For most of the last decade, the Bangkok hotel market has been soft, with bad news coming year after year, whether revolving around political unrest or natural disasters.  As developers carried on building, occupancy and especially average rate stayed subdued.  In the last two years, however, the market – always a very popular destination – has shown signs of life.

“We are positive about prospects in the Bangkok hotel market. Thailand’s tourism boom is likely to continue and generate consistent demand for hotel accommodation in the city in the foreseeable future,” says Frank Sorgiovanni, Head of Research Asia Pacific at JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group and one of the speakers at the upcoming South East Asia Hotel Investors’ Summit.

In contrast, the great business cities of Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney saw record breaking performances year after year until two years ago, when overbuilding combined with slowing demand saw two of them (HK and Singapore) go sharply into reverse.

Research house DBS noted about Singapore in research dated 16th May 2017:  “We believe 2017 will remain a difficult year for hoteliers. This is due to the large increase in new room supply (3,767 rooms, equivalent to 6% of existing supply). In addition, we project demand to remain below that of supply, with visitor days growing at 5%, slightly faster than the 4% increase in tourist arrivals

Is this a new trend or just a blip? Could the Bangkok hotel market really catch up with the financial centres?  Listen as experts like Anchalika Kijkanarkorn, CEO of Akaryn; Dawn Teo, from Singapore group Amara’s founding family, Jennifer Cronin, President of Hong Kong-based Marco Polo and Sabine Schaffer, whose Pro-Invest is rolling out a hotel portfolio in Australia debate the trends.

It’s the opening session at SEAHIS, a hotel investment summit actually based around hotel owners which opens on Tuesday morning at the Dusit Thani, with around 90 hotel groups attending, of whom over 75 own hotels – possibly the largest gathering of hotel real estate ever in South-East Asia.