Cashing in on tourism boom

Thailand’s tourism boom has caught the attention of some of the country’s biggest companies, which have set up offshoots to ramp up investment in the hospitality sector

A multibillion dollar mixed-use project by AWC will soon join Bangkok’s tourism infrastructure

As Thailand projects to hit nearly 40 million foreign arrivals this year, non-traditional tourism players are looking to cash in on the booming tourism sector.

Asset World Corporation (AWC), a hotel company owned by beverage tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi’s TCC Group, has unveiled an ambitious hotel expansion plan to open 13 hotels worth over 40 billion baht (US$1.3 billion) by 2025 over the next six years. The group already has 14 hotels across multi brands, all under management contracts.

A multibillion dollar mixed-use project by AWC will soon join Bangkok’s tourism infrastructure

Wallapa Traisorat, CEO and president of AWC, said the new projects will expand the group’s portfolio to a total of 8,506 rooms, up from 4,960 existing rooms. This expansion into the hotel business, he said, is encouraged by Thailand’s tourism boom.

The group will also develop a US$3.1 billion mixed-use project comprising five-star hotels and retail space on Chao Phraya River, next to Asiatique the Riverfront under its management. Construction work will begin 2020.

Meanwhile, it is engaged in an ongoing feasibility study for a potential investment on a piece of land opposite Asiatique the Riverfront. In addition, it plans to invest in two high-end hotels and a commercial space in a mixed-use project in Pattaya. That development is expected to cost another US$3.1 billion.

Singha Estate, another giant beverage company, is also actively moving into the travel landscape not just in Thailand but globally. It has acquired six hotels in four countries from APAC Holdings at a cost of more than US$3.1 billion. The acquired hotels – located in Phuket, Koh Samui, the Maldives, Fiji and Mauritius – will be rebranded as S Hotels and Resorts, a subsidiary of Singha Estate.

S Hotels and Resorts currently manages 39 hotels globally, including two existing hotels in Thailand – Santiburi Beach Resort & Spa in Koh Samui and Phi Phi Islands Village Beach Resort – owned by Singha Estate.

Singha Estate is now focused on investments overseas. Currently, it is working on Crossroads in the Maldives, a mega development that will turn nine islands into an integrated resort destination. Each island will have hotels and tourist facilities. The company is set to open two hotels in the first phase by end-2019 before starting the second phase in 2020.

Origin Property, one of the leading real estate firms in Thailand, has unveiled a five-year plan with a new focus on hotel, mixed-use spaces, retail and food business. Its new company, One Origin, will handle the expansion.

Kamonwan Wipulakorn, CEO of One Origin, said the company expects to develop 15 hotels and serviced apartments with total of 4,000 units as well as more than 10 offices and retail projects mainly in Bangkok and in the east coast of Thailand.

Origin Property has already entered the eastern region with condo projects in Sriracha to capitalise on the government’s Eastern Economic Corridor initiative. Earlier, Origin had signed a contract with the InterContinental Hotels Group to manage upcoming hotels in Bangkok and Sriracha.

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