Thailand's state-owned PTT plans to invest in budget hotels

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Thailand's largest energy firm PTT is reportedly speaking to as many as four hotel operators regarding plans to build budget hotels at its oil service stations in a bid to boost revenue from its retail business.

Reuters, speaking to Auttapol Rerkpiboon, senior executive vice president of PTT's oil business unit, reports that state-controlled PTT aimed to set up hotels at 50 of its more than 1,400 stations over the next five years.

However, Rerkpiboon did not disclose who the operators were and if they were Asia-Pacific based or U.S. hotel operators and/or brands. How much PTT planned to invest was not disclosed, either. 

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The investment will be excluded from a plan to invest $709.82 million) in its oil business during 2016-2020, Reuters further reports.

Budget Hotel Growth

Thailand has seen growth, of late, in budget-minded hotels, especially in resort areas. In April,Wyndham Hotel Group launched its first Days Inn-branded hotel in Thailand. The 122-room Days Inn Patong Beach Phuket is a franchise agreement with developer Roberts Phuket.

“Phuket is a major beach resort in Thailand and attracts millions of visitors annually," Barry Robinson, president and managing director of Wyndham Hotel Group South East Asia and Pacific Rim, said. "This is a timely opportunity for us to expand our offerings, with the country hitting a ground-breaking record of 29.99 million tourist arrivals in 2015, which is a phenomenal increase of 20 percent from 2014."

Looking ahead, Wyndham Hotel Group will be placing further emphasis on key emerging markets such as Thailand, in line with the larger global development strategy to increase its footprint across the region.

Last October, Travelodge Hotels Asia entered into an agreement with Thailand's Absolute Hotel Services Group (AHS) to form Travelodge Thailand, a joint venture to bring the Travelodge brands to Thailand. Four brands will be entering the Thai market: Nano by Travelodge, One by Travelodge, Skye by Travelodge and the main Travelodge brand.

In regard to introducing Travelodge to the Thai market, Jonathan Wigley, CEO of AHS, said: “Thailand continues to be one of Asia’s most popular holiday and business destinations. Travel and tourism is a key contributor to the Thai economy and the country’s GDP. Specifically, the midscale hotel segment that Travelodge and its three sub-brands operate in is expected to fit in well with the travel demographics of Thailand. We are excited to bring in a new international brand to Thailand and we target over 4000 keys in Thailand for Travelodge by 2020.”

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