Thailand's hotel sector saw a spark in investment in the first half of 2017, according to a report from JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group. Direct investment in the country's hotel sector rose to approximately $320 million thanks to the acquisition deals of five hotels in Bangkok and Pattaya, Bangkok Post reported.
Last year saw 16 hotel and hospitality transactions worth approximately $287 million in Bangkok and major provincial locations, including Phuket, Samui, Sri Racha and Chian Riat. JLL has predicted the full-year investment volume in Thailand will increase to over $418.4 million by the end of 2017.
Investment grew by around 11.5 percent, compared to the full-year investment volume in 2016 at only about $286.9 million, Mike Batchelor, head of investment sales, Asia, told the newspaper. He said hotel buyers were both domestic and regional, citing Singapore-based firms Carlton Hotel Group and Hotel 81 as recent investors.
JLL assisted Hotel 81 in its deal with Whitbread to acquire Premier Inn's portfolio, which included two locations in Bangkok and Pattaya. The 388-key portfolio marked Hotel 81's first venture into the Thai market. Both hotels will be managed by Travelodge. According to Chakkrit Paul Chakrabandhu Na Ayudhya, SVP of JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group, the portfolio is also Hotel 81's first overseas deal.
Carlton Hotel Group, meanwhile, bought an unfinished hotel development in Bangkok for close to $72 million. The 342-key hotel is expected to operate under the Carlton Hotel brand once construction is completed in 2019. Karan Khanijou, another SVP of JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group, told Bangkok Post that Carlton Hotel Group's purchase was the largest hotel transaction publicly announced in Thailand. “Given that no hotels of a significant size have been traded on the main Sukhumvit Road, this deal has also set a new benchmark price,” he said.
Bangkok Edition Boutique Hotel and Swissotel Nai Lert Park in Bangkok were the two other hotels sold in the first half 2017. The acquisition of the Swissotel property was announced last year, but the deal was finalized this year. It is set to be converted into a holistic medical center under Bangkok Dusit Medical Services' brand Bangkok Hospital.