Dusit to add up to 7 hotels
Dusit Thani Plc has committed to investment expansion this year with a plan to add 5-7 new hotels abroad over the second half of 2019.
The expansion follows the company's strategic plan of opening 10-12 new hotels under Dusit International, both domestically and overseas, annually from 2019-2020 to take advantage of growing global tourism.
The company has new properties scheduled to open in Singapore, Bahrain, the Philippines and China later this year, said Suphajee Suthumpun, group chief executive.
In the first quarter, the company already opened two new hotels in the Philippines (Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu and dusitD2 Davao) and Dusit Doha Hotel, marking its first hotel in Qatar.
Last month, the company also opened a new hotel in Bangkok, Dusit Suites Hotel Ratchadamri.
Speaking at a CEO Forum organised by the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Monday, Mrs Suphajee said hospitality is part of the country's heritage.
The company would like to present this legacy to the world through its hotels and services.
Despite a bright tourism outlook, she said trends are changing rapidly and hoteliers have to monitor the situation closely to provide products and services that meet customer demands.
The World Tourism Organisation estimated 1.8 billion people travel globally, with more tourists from emerging markets in Asia.
"Travellers today spend less time planning trips and may make last-minute bookings, meaning hotel operators need to cope with such changing behaviour," she said.
New challenges for Thai hoteliers are technological disruption and innovations in the shared economy such as Airbnb, said Mrs Suphajee.
"They don't own any assets, but they can offer services to tourists to access accommodation efficiently," she said.
Online travel agents provide a platform for tourists and take a 15-20% margin from hotels.
Many local hotel brands have escaped the stiff competition by having their properties operated under chains.
To catch up with the trend, Dusit offers a limited service hotel brand, ASAI, which will be fully open at the end of the year in Yaowarat, Bangkok.
The concept of ASAI could meet the demand of millennials, said Mrs Suphajee.
ASAI are planned for the Philippines, Myanmar and Japan in the near future, she said.
Dusit Thani also entered into a partnership with Favstay, a shared economy platform, providing condo and villa rental services, said Mrs Suphajee.
The company has 269 properties in operation, with nine of their own hotels and 260 operated by management contracts in 13 countries.
On Jan 5 the company closed the Dusit Thani Bangkok for the construction of Dusit Central Park project, a mixed-use property development estimated to be completed in 2024.