AWC adds IHG to slew of hotel deals
SET-listed Asset World Corp (AWC), the real estate company of tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi's TCC Group, has signed a strategic partnership with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) to manage 1,200 hotel rooms across Thailand.
The deal comes after AWC announced a partnership with Marriott International last November to open a further 1,550 rooms.
AWC has partnered with six international hotel chains, with the ambition to have 27 total hotels with 8,506 rooms by 2024, up from 16 hotels with 4,869 rooms, under a five-year strategic plan.
Chief executive and president Wallapa Traisorat said the first hotel under the IHG agreement will be the conversion of Imperial Mae Ping Hotel Chiang Mai -- the famed hotel that was TCC Group's first acquisition in 1989 -- into InterContinental Chiang Mai Mae Ping with an investment of around 3 billion baht.
Apart from 306 rooms and 3,600 sq m for Mice (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions), the hotel is well-known among Chinese guests as the place where Teresa Teng, the iconic Taiwanese singer, stayed until her passing two decades ago. The hotel will be redesigned and a museum dedicated to the late star will be installed.
InterContinental Chiang Mai Mae Ping is scheduled to open in 2021 and will be ready for full operations by 2022.
Mrs Wallapa said the hotel will benefit from the expansion of Chiang Mai airport, where the annual capacity will be increased to 16 million passengers by 2022, as well as the development of the second airport in San Kampaeng district that will be able to accommodate 10 million passengers by 2025.
She said AWC plans to carry on with further studies for other potential projects with IHG in Bangkok, such as a lifestyle hotel in Charoen Krung area and mixed-use developments in Chinatown, Bang Na area and near the Chao Phraya River.
For projects outside the capital, AWC is eyeing a luxury hotel in Chiang Rai, a resort in Hua Hin and a mixed-use development in Pattaya.
Rajit Sukumaran, IHG's chief development officer for Asia, the Middle East and Africa, said the goal is to marry Imperial Mae Ping Hotel's prestige with IHG's management to form a one-of-a-kind hospitality project in Chiang Mai.
IHG operates 5,795 hotels with 864,699 rooms globally.
Of the total, 29 hotels with 7,555 rooms are in Thailand.