Thai-Chinese, APlan ready Phuket project

Thai-Chinese, APlan ready Phuket project

An artist's impression of the 1.6-billion-baht Radisson Phuket Mai Khao Beach.
An artist's impression of the 1.6-billion-baht Radisson Phuket Mai Khao Beach.

Thai-Chinese Property Holdings has partnered with APlan Properties to develop a new hotel and residence project, Radisson Phuket Mai Khao Beach, for a cost of 1.6 billion baht.

Scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2023, the property consists of 222 rooms and suites, with 110 units for freehold ownership. It is to be operated by Radisson Hotel Group.

The project is undergoing an environmental impact assessment.

William Lau, director of Thai-Chinese Property Holdings, said the Mai Khao area is a strategic location, just a 15-minute drive from Phuket airport.

Phuket is a popular tourist destination in the South, filled with greenery, rainforests and world-class hotel chains such as Marriott and Anantara that attract foreign visitors, Mr Lau said.

Andre de Jong, vice-president of operations for Southeast Asia and the Pacific at Radisson Hotel Group, said the brand has been in Thailand since 2007 and has four hotels.

The company is delighted to bring Radisson to Mai Khao, Mr de Jong said.

He said Radisson Hotel Group's portfolio in Asia-Pacific will double within the next three years. The group already signed agreements with four hotels in Vietnam and plans to open seven hotels in the Philippines this year.

Mr de Jong voiced confidence that Thai tourism can overcome the economic and political instabilities, Thailand will bounce back and the overall situation in Phuket will be revived.

Phuket is a favourite of foreign visitors, especially Chinese. But the number of tourists from the mainland has plunged significantly after the deadly boat accident off the island last year.

Trade tension, a slow economy and a strong baht are all contributing to the drop in Chinese tourists, down 3.3% to 6.63 million in the first seven months this year.

"The strong currency is the main problem for Thai tourism, as it devalues visitors' money, particularly the Chinese, who have seen the yuan soften," said Marciano Birjmohun, managing director of DMRD Asia, a consultancy specialising in real estate markets in Asia-Pacific.

The number of Indian tourists visiting Thailand rose 24.5% to 1.14 million for the first seven months this year.

"We plan to promote the hotel in markets less affected by the strong baht and will enter the Indian market because it provides a good opportunity," Mr Birjmohun said. "The Radisson brand has a good reputation worldwide and is trusted by Indian tourists."

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