Movenpick Growing in Thailand

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Three new Thai hotels announce its presence

Movenpick Hotels & Resorts, the Swiss hotel management company, is turning its attention increasingly to Asia including Thailand, with plans to secure at least 10 new management contracts on the continent next year.

The hotel chain now has three properties with 766 rooms in Asia, one of them in Thailand. It recently signed contracts to manage eight new hotels with 2,142 rooms – three in Thailand, two in Vietnam and one each in Malaysia, Singapore and India. Andreas Mattmuller, chief operating officer for the Middle East and Asia, said the brand resembled a five-star hotel with its modern design and luxury facilities, but it offers affordable rates. Clear positioning and realistic tariffs have allowed Movenpick to achieve successful penetration of the Middle East and Europe.

The success of its first Thai hotel, the Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket, which opened in 2006, has paved the way for three new management contracts.

The company recently signed on with the Chittarasnee family to operate the Movenpick Suriwongse Hotel Chiang Mai, the Movenpick Resort & Spa Mae Nam Beach Koh Samui and the Movenpick Hotel & Residences Bangkok.

Jumreon Chittarasnee, chairman of the Twin Towers Hotel Bangkok and whose family owns the three properties, said 4 billion baht had been earmarked to develop the hotels. One billion will be spent to renovate the Movenpick Suriwongse Hotel Chiang Mai, after which room rates will increase by 40-50% to between 2,000 and 2,500 baht per room per night.

Another billion baht will be used to build the 81-pool-villa Movenpick Resort & Spa Mae Nam Beach Koh Samui, due to open next year, while the other 2 billion will be used to develop 266 rooms and 100 residential units at the Movenpick Hotel & Residences Bangkok.

Apart from the three properties, the Chittarasnee family also owns the Holiday Inn Resort Phi Phi and the Star Hotel Chiang Mai as well as the Twin Towers Hotel Bangkok.

“Thai tourism still has potential to grow even though competition will be tougher in the future. The number of hotels, both international and local brands, has significantly increased,” said Mr Mattmuller.

He said intense competition would make it difficult for many hotel owners to survive, and some would probably go out of business, especially with oversupply occurring at some locations.

However, Thailand remains a top destination among international tourists, especially from emerging markets like India and China.

The company operates 70 hotels with 17,582 rooms worldwide – 27 in Europe, 23 in the Middle East and 17 in Africa in addition to the three in Asia.

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