Narai to double portfolio in Asia-Pacific
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Narai to double portfolio in Asia-Pacific

Narai Hospitality Group wants to double its portfolio to at least 26 hotels in Asia-Pacific within 3-5 years, with a diversified scale from budget to luxury driven by robust travel demand.

Thomas Tait, chief operating officer of the group, said the focus is to grow outside Thailand, targeting countries in Southeast Asia as well as Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

The group owns 12 hotels in four countries, including six budget hotels under the Lub d brand and luxury hotel Marasca Khao Yai.

Mr Tait said its hotels recorded strong performance, especially Lub d Phuket Patong and Lub d Koh Samui, driven by international tourists, while Lub d Osaka in Japan, which opened this month, secured an occupancy of 80%.

However its branches in the Philippines and Cambodia -- Lub d Makati and Lub d Siem Reap -- posted slower growth due to the delay in lifting Covid-19 restrictions.

He said the hotel in the Philippines saw a slow resumption of corporate travel, while its hotel in Cambodia is too reliant on Chinese tourists.

For Thailand, Mr Tait said the company will complete the development of two new properties in Silom, Bangkok, which should be finished in the first quarter of 2028.

This project will see its old landmark -- Narai Hotel -- being developed into two properties, consisting of Narai Hotel which will be a 4-5-star hotel, while the other is a 6-star hotel under the new brand.

Other ventures in the pipeline for Thailand include Lub d hotels in Bangkok's Chinatown, Koh Tao and Krabi, along with Marasca Samui, said Mr Tait.

Regarding overseas expansion, the group is conducting a feasibility study to find a suitable brand and type of hotel for each location.

"We are looking heavily in Japan as now we have a company registered there," said Mr Tait.

With one property in Osaka, the group would like to expand its presence in Tokyo, which could be Lub d or Marasca, he said.

Next month, Narai Hospitality Group will officially open its latest property, Le Meridien Phuket Mai Khao Beach Resort.

It had undergone a renovation worth 400-500 million baht after being rebranded from Holiday Inn.

"We see the opportunity to be a family friendly property at a higher level," said Mr Tait.

Jirarat Ninpadub, general manager of Le Meridien Phuket Mai Khao Beach Resort, said the resort should see at least a 30% increase in revenue through facility improvement and brand change.

Its main targets for the high season are international tourists, especially those from Russia, Australia and Europe, as Mai Khao beach is not popular with local customers.

She said the hotel is expected to break-even within 5-7 years.

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