Hotel Glut Looms Large in Phuket

Property developers and hoteliers in Phuket are warning of a looming oversupply of hotel rooms.

Dubbed the “Pearl of the Andaman”, the island province has been the only tourism destination to show a consistently positive trend in the wake of the political unrest from late 2008 to mid-2010.

Driven by bright prospects and spurred by growing international tourist numbers, hoteliers and developers have been racing during this period to expand capacity, rapidly increasing room supply.

“I believe that Phuket is now entering a state of oversupply in terms of number of rooms. If the situation continues, a price war is highly likely soon like in Bangkok,” said Glenn de Souza, the vice-president for international operations in Asia for the US-based hotel chain Best Western International.

“Local and national authorities should work together with the private sector to plan long-term tourism strategy, rules and regulations while applying the concept of sustainable development.”

He said this would result in better management of Phuket’s existing resources while maintaining its attractiveness as a beach destination.

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