BASED on a firm belief that Thailand’s tourism industry will continue to do well in the days ahead, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has anchored its regional expansion strategy on the Thai kingdom as it seeks to double its Asia-Pacific portfolio to 200 properties by 2020.
Thailand’s tourism sector remains “strikingly resilient” despite recent years of economic and political turmoil, said the group’s Asia-Pacific president Thorsten Kirschke at yesterday’s media conference in Bangkok.
“We are looking at adding another six properties across over the next 15 months into our Thailand portfolio,” Kirschke said. This expansion entails a mixture of three brands, including a Radisson Red that is “close to signature” in Bangkok.
The group currently boasts four properties in the Thai capital: Radisson Blu Plaza Bangkok, Radisson Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit, Park Plaza Sukhumvit Bangkok and Park Plaza Bangkok Soi 18.
Key to Carlson Rezidor’s development in Thailand will be its expansion into the “resorts arena”, with Radisson Blu Hua Hin already scheduled to open in 2Q2016, although the group recently lost management of its Radisson Blu property in Phuket – the resort will be rebranded as a Pullman from April 2016.
Having a presence in Thai resort destinations will also better position the group to court the MICE market, Kirschke posited. “We have seen a 35 per cent year-on-year growth in our MICE revenue across Asia-Pacific last year, but that is not exactly mirrored in Thailand as we are still missing important resort locations which obviously attract traditional MICE business,” he said.
China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Australasia are also identified as Carlson Rezidor’s core markets of development in the region. As well, the group is making inroads into new markets such as Vietnam, where the country’s first signing was recently concluded for Radisson Blu Cam Ranh Bay, as well as expected signings currently under negotiation for Myanmar and Cambodia.
Carlson Rezidor is targeting 25 signings in 2016 – two of which are already completed – following 23 signings last year and nine signings the year before.