Dusit suggests more tourism segments

Dusit suggests more tourism segments

Industry needs to look beyond leisure

Mrs Suphajee at the launch of Pinto Hub, a new food business in a joint venture with Farm to Plate Processor.
Mrs Suphajee at the launch of Pinto Hub, a new food business in a joint venture with Farm to Plate Processor.

To achieve the government's target of 3.5 trillion baht in tourism revenue this year, Thailand needs to attract more segments apart from leisure travellers to compete with other destinations, said Dusit International.

Dusit group chief executive Suphajee Suthumpun said the new visa-free scheme might facilitate travel, but it's not enough to stimulate income.

To create quality tourism, Thailand should develop infrastructure and demand for other travel purposes, including Mice (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) and wellness and medical tourism, said Mrs Suphajee.

"Tourism is a major economic driver this year, amid sluggish exports and weakened domestic spending," Mrs Suphajee said.

Mrs Suphajee said hotels should learn to adapt to the situation, capturing specific markets and preventing a price war in hospitality, which happened before the pandemic.

Given the proposal to legalise casinos, the move should help improve the economy as this would attract tourists to spend in Thailand.

However, she said this sector must be properly regulated with clear zoning and stringent safety measures.

Mrs Suphajee said the government should focus on legalising hotels to include them in the registered system, and improving tax incentives for tourism operators who incorporate green or sustainable systems in their services.

In the first quarter, hotels across the Dusit portfolio are expected to record a 75% average occupancy rate and would maintain a high room rate, due to the high season and consistent demand from high-spending clients.

In Thailand, properties with the strongest performance are those in Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin.

Its hotels in Kyoto gained a majority of domestic tourists and an increasing number of Thai tourists, thanks to the popularity of Japan among the Thai outbound market.

Despite entering the low season, healthy bookings should continue in the second quarter, driven by demand during Songkran, which will have Thai guests filling in available rooms in some locations, including Hua Hin, Pattaya, Phuket and Khao Yai.

On Wednesday, its subsidiary Dusit Foods launched the Pinto Hub, a new food business, in a joint venture with Farm to Plate Processor.

It attracts small popular local vendors and restaurants into a cloud kitchen platform, which can be ordered through Grab food delivery.

At present, it operates seven outlets in Bangkok and plans to open three more, which also include dine-in services within 2-3 months.

Manisa Mitpaibul, managing director of Dusit Foods, said the food business targeted 2.5 billion baht revenue by 2027, up from 1.3 billion baht in 2023.

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