Following Thai firm U City's acquisition of Vienna House Capital this year, Vienna House plans to expand across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. By 2022, the hotel group says it will increase its portfolio from 34 hotels and 6,500 rooms to 60 hotels and 9,900 rooms.
The Austria-based hotel company plans to expand its Vienna House and Vienna House Easy brands specifically in Thailand, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines. The first hotel in the pipeline is already under construction in the Phayathai district of Bangkok. “Now we are an Austria-based firm,” Rupert Simoner, CEO of Vienna House Capital, told The Nation. “The first hotel in Asia will surely be in Thailand. It may open next year or in the next two years when the project’s construction is completed." The group is also eyeing expansion opportunities in other Thai tourist hotspots, including Phuket and Chiang Mai. While hotels in the industry normally see the first return on initial investment in a new hotel within a decade, Vienna House aims to see a return of over 10 percent a year.
Vienna House's two brands operate in nine European countries: Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, France, Russia, Romania, Slovakia, Belarus and Austria. The group's average occupancy rate totals 66 percent a year. Approximately 60 percent of their guests are within the business and meeting, incentive tourism, conventions and exhibitions sector while the rest are tourists.
The expansion strategy also includes assisting U City subsidiary Absolute Hotel Services in its expansion of the U Hotel and Eastin chains throughout Europe over the next five years. U Hotel will be focused on the resort and spa hotel market while the Eastin brand will be focused on the city lifestyle. "Having four brands with different characters is a challenge for our business expansion in Europe," Simoner explained. However, to tackle this issue, Vienna House will operate the four brands in Europe while AHS will operate the brands in Asia and the Middle East.
Now, AHS' portfolio includes 52 hotels with 11,412 rooms in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Turkey and Oman. The group aims to increase its stock to include 20,000 keys by 2020.