AWC banking on high-spending tourists

AWC banking on high-spending tourists

Projects worth B36bn in the pipeline

SET-listed Asset World Corp (AWC) remains bullish on high-spending tourists and plans to invest in several projects valued at 36 billion baht this year.

Mrs Wallapa said 18 new projects worth 19 billion baht will be opened this year, including retail development, restaurants, and three hotels.

Wallapa Traisorat, chief executive and president of AWC, said Thailand has the potential to draw tourists with high expenditure from regional competitors through quality property development, especially hotels partnering with international hospitality brands.

With 35 million foreign arrivals expected this year, the average room rate might slightly decline from previous years when pandemic restrictions were loosened and room supply was limited.

However, revenue per available room is expected to steadily grow this year, which remains higher than the 2019 level, said Mrs Wallapa.

AWC can access 600 million guests in the loyalty programme of nine international hospitality groups, such as Marriott, Accor, IHG, Hilton, Melia and Okura, as AWC hosts brands under these groups with its 22 hotels totalling 6,029 rooms, she said.

Mrs Wallapa said some hotels in the AWC portfolio recorded an RGI (revenue generating index) of almost 200, much higher than the normal index of 100, and a leap from five years ago when the company went public and had an RGI of 108 on average.

The strong performance was attributed to Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse, gaining business and leisure tourists with an RGI of 189, and Courtyard by Marriott Phuket Town recording an RGI of 214.

The company plans to open 18 new projects this year worth 19 billion baht, including retail development and restaurants as well as three hotels featuring 800 keys in total.

The new hotels include Fairmont Bangkok Sukhumvit worth 5 billion baht, Marriott Resort & Spa at Jomtien Beach and a luxury branded hotel in Pattaya.

Other highlights comprise AEC Food Wholesale Pratunam worth 6 billion baht, aiming to become a new food trade centre in the region.

Moreover, the company also has three projects worth 17 billion baht that will need investment approval from shareholders, including a luxury hotel with wellness concept on Sukhumvit Soi 38, development of OP Garden near the Chao Phraya, and new hotels at the Lannatique project in Chiang Mai.

AWC has allocated 126 billion baht for investment for a five-year plan starting from 2024.

It will develop flagship projects, including Weng Chinatown Destination in Bangkok, the second phase of Asiatique Bangkok and the 60-floor mixed-use project Aquatique in Pattaya.

"AWC accelerated hotel development to draw inbound tourists first, and then geared up the retail segment to generate more income from demand," said Mrs Wallapa.

In 2023, AWC posted 19 billion baht revenue, an increase of 30.9% from 2022. The hospitality segment contributed 54%.

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