AWC allots B10bn for Phenix
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AWC allots B10bn for Phenix

Wholesale and retail food hub to open

AWC invested 10 billion baht in Phenix, a new retail and wholesale food complex that renovated Pantip Pratunam.
AWC invested 10 billion baht in Phenix, a new retail and wholesale food complex that renovated Pantip Pratunam.

SET-listed Asset World Corp (AWC) has launched Phenix, a 10-billion-baht wholesale and retail food centre, to capture consistent demand in the tourism and food segments.

Wallapa Traisorat, chief executive and president of AWC, said the centre was created by renovating Pantip Pratunam to become a retail and wholesale food hub in Bangkok.

Mrs Wallapa said Thailand still lacks a food centre that can combine tourism and trade in one place to strengthen the country's status as a major food exporter.

Spanning more than 20,000 square metres, Phenix hosts 265 restaurants in its food lounge, which has attached communal and meeting spaces.

The complex connects buyers and sellers, both online and offline, without applying a margin charge, collecting only store rental fees within the wholesale areas.

The project includes a ballroom space with 1,500 seats in an area covering 2,600 sq m to host events and concerts.

Phenix is scheduled to open at the end of this month, and AWC expects it to attract 20,000 people a day.

The company plans to open a Thai cuisine museum in the building for the next phase of development.

She said while the hotel segment still contributes half of AWC's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, Phenix will help the firm grow revenue from the retail and wholesale segment and strengthen its portfolio.

With more than 600 million loyalty members from the international brands of AWC's properties, Mrs Wallapa said Phenix will be recommended as a destination to hotel customers in addition to Asiatique -- another attraction created from AWC's investment.

In addition to attracting tourists, she said the company wants Phenix to become a new dining option for locals and a food supplier to small businesses in the area.

Regarding AWC's hotel business, Mrs Wallapa said its properties have not been affected by the bankruptcy of German tour operator FTI.

As 70% of bookings are direct through its international chain network, most of AWC's hotels focus on independent tourists and corporate bookings, she said.

Some of its bookings may have been made via FTI, but the company's hotels have not felt any impact from the insolvency, said Mrs Wallapa.

For the second half of the year, AWC's strong occupancy rate is projected to continue, driven by high-spending customers, she said.

By year-end, the company plans to open some new properties, including Fairmont Bangkok Sukhumvit, a Marriott hotel, along with a Melia hotel in Pattaya.

Mrs Wallapa said the government should do more in terms of luring investments that could help attract more long-stay guests.

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