Thailand leads Southeast Asia in residence hotels

Thailand is leading Southeast Asia's residence hotel scene, reportedly accounting for 37 percent of total projects, according to Thailand Business News. The site credits "the marriage" between international hospitality brands and Thai property developers, who are sitting at the head of the table with $3.5 billion in inventory for sale. According to new research by Thai-based hospitality consulting group C9 Hotelworks, there are currently 44 developments on the market, representing 4,775 units. The top three locations in the country for hotel residences are Phuket, Bangkok and Pattaya.

As Nation Multimedia notes, a key catalyst for the rising tide has been an increasing number of mixed-use projects that contain hotel and real estate components. Recognized hotel brands are being tapped to help engineer pricing premiums for property sales, which in market-wide terms has equated to 26 percent in urban locations and 14 percent for resort products. 

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These numbers echo a recent trend of hotel investments throughout Thailand this fall alone. At this year's Red Roof brand conference in Hollywood, Fla., company president Andrew Alexander Announced that Thailand would be a prime development target for 2016. The company has partnered with Paragon Hotels Limited, part of Paragon Partners, with openings planned to take place next year. Phil Hugh, chief development officer for Red Roof, said the company chose Paragon Hotels as its developer in Thailand because of their long-term plans for disseminating the Red Roof brand throughout the country.

"These are not development agreements or anything in the planning stages, in our initial meetings this organization was putting a machine together," Hugh said. "We were discussing building on sites that were already secured. They don't have a dream, they have a plan."

TCC Land Group, a property arm of Thai beverage tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi's empire, has set aside an investment budget of more than Bt50 billion for next year's business by listed and non-listed companies in the group. In September, TCC Land chief executive officer Sommapat Trisorat said that after restructuring the company's property group and separating it into three businesses (hotels, retail and offices) worth Bt80 billion in total, the company has started to expand this year's investment to Bt15 billion to renovate existing projects, with the rest of the investment budget to be spent from 2016 to 2019.

Next year, the company reportedly plans to invest between Bt1 billion and Bt4 billion to develop a four-star hotel under the Marriott brand. "Our investment in the hotel at the Asiatique Charoen Krung will depend on the number of rooms, between 200 and 800, and the design concept. The cost will be about Bt5 million per room," said Napat Charoenkul, managing director of retail business at TCC Land Asset World Estate. The group is also reportedly interested in expanding investment further, both domestically and overseas.

In early 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 enter the Thai market: Nano by Travelodge, One by Travelodge, Skye by Travelodge and the main Travelodge brand.

“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," Jonathan Wigley, CEO of AHS, said. "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.” The company expects to have 4,000 rooms under the Travelodge Thailand brand by 2020. 

In late September, Centara Hotels & Resorts announced plans to open a new Thai resort. The 282-room Centra Maris Resort Jomtien is scheduled to open in mid-December just outside of Bangkok. The overall area of Jomtien is getting a face lift, with new sidewalks, building sports, recreation and water facilities, adding greenery and playgrounds as well as a new police substation. 

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