Udon Plaza set to ramp up residential, hotel projects
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Udon Plaza set to ramp up residential, hotel projects

From left are Ms Apicha, Mr Tanakorn and Mr Passakorn. The trio announced the
From left are Ms Apicha, Mr Tanakorn and Mr Passakorn. The trio announced the "Udon Songkran Festival 2023" which is scheduled to be held at UD Town mall during April 12-16.

Udon Plaza Group, the operator of UD Town plaza, the leading community mall in the northeastern province of Udon Thani, is ramping up its residential and hotel projects as part of its effort to sustain its revenues over the long term.

Tanakorn Weerachatyanukul, the company's chief executive, said the Covid-19 situation has now improved a great deal while the tourism business is rebounding rapidly. The number of Chinese tourists arriving in the province via the China-Lao high-speed train service is expected to increase, he said.

More importantly, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is ramping up its campaign to promote tourism in Udon Thani.

Boosted by such supporting factors, the group is preparing to build a new hotel close to its UD Town retail project, with an investment of 400 million baht and plans to allocate another 300 million baht to develop a high-end residential project for the first time, he said.

These developments are scheduled to be completed within the next three years.

According to Mr Tanakorn, the development of hotel and residential projects would be handled by Tanatip456 Co under the Udon Plaza Group.

Passakorn Weerachatyanukul, managing director of Tanatip456 Co, said construction of its new 2-3 star hotel would be carried out in two phases. Each phase would comprise seven floors with a total of 79 rooms and the room rate would be set at less than 2,800 baht per night. Construction would take one year to complete.

Currently, Tanatip456 operates a Moco hotel with 68 rooms in the same area as UD Town mall. Some 80% of Moco hotel's customers are locals with foreign tourists accounting for the other 20%. The firm expects the proportion of foreign guests to increase to 30-40% in the foreseeable future.

"Udon Thani nowadays is not only a travelling destination among local people but also many foreigners from neighbouring countries, the US and Europe. We expect that more Chinese tourists will visit Udon Thani which is full of various natural tourist spots and destinations for faith and belief," said Mr Tanakorn, who is also the president of Udon Thani Tourism Business Association.

According to Mr Tanakorn, in addition to the new hotel project, the firm is also developing its first residential projects on a 4-rai area of land. The residential project would be developed as a serviced apartment. The firm also plans to develop a premium single-house project at another land plot close to UD Town mall. The project is now pending a feasibility study.

The aim is for the projects to be completed within three years, so the property and hospitality business will become another pillar in terms of income contribution to the group in addition to its existing retail business.

Mr Tanakorn said the overall economic situation in Udon Thani is also improving following the Covid-19 outbreaks.

In 2022, 1.7 million passengers arrived by air in Udon Thani with the number soon expected to be back to the pre-crisis level of 2.58 million recorded in 2019.

Moreover, Udon Thani is also a transportation hub for several northeastern provinces with the highest number of flights in the region.

In a related development, Apicha Weerachatyanukul, managing director of Udon Plaza Co, said the firm will also resume its active spending on marketing events at UD Town this year to attract local and foreign shoppers to visit the mall this year.

At an upcoming event, the firm is set to spend 30-40 million baht to launch "Udon Songkran Festival 2023" during April 12-16 this year for the first time in three years.

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