Thai hotel operators expand investments as tourism recovers post Covid

By Hoang Phong    March 7, 2023 | 02:36 am PT
Thai hotel operators expand investments as tourism recovers post Covid
Tourists visit Maya bay at Krabi province, Thailand, January 3, 2022. Photo by Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha
Major hotel operators in Thailand have announced expansion plans amid a bright outlook for tourism as Southeast Asia's second largest economy expects 30 million foreign arrivals this year.

Hospitality giant Centara Hotels and Resorts has set aside 23 billion baht ($665 million) to build at least six hotels over the next few years, Nikkei Asia reported.

It plans to open a Centara hotel in Osaka on July 1 and another five hotels in Thailand.

Budget hotel operator Erawan Group has also revealed its plan to double the number of its Hop Inn hotels to 100 by 2025. It currently operates 50 hotels that mainly targets middle-income travelers.

Minor International is scheduled to open its high-end NH Boat Lagoon Phuket resort this year, boosting the total number of hotels and resorts to 531 across 56 countries.

Since Thailand began easing entry requirements for foreign arrivals in the second half of 2022, its tourism industry has seen a steady recovery.

Thailand received 11 million foreign visitors last year, well above the previous year's target of 10 million, making its tourism industry among the region's fastest to recover from the Covid lockdown.

With the bump in foreign tourists, the country's hotel occupancy rate is expected to hover around 60% this year, up from 30% in 2022, according to Thailand-based Kasikorn Research Center.

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