Avani explores capital's eastern promise

Avani explores capital's eastern promise

Latest hotel catches Mice wave at Bitec

The 382-room Avani Sukhumvit Bangkok hotel is set for an official grand opening on Dec 1.
The 382-room Avani Sukhumvit Bangkok hotel is set for an official grand opening on Dec 1.

Avani Hotels & Resorts, the hospitality brand under Minor Hotels, is opening a new hotel in eastern Bangkok, the Avani Sukhumvit Bangkok, in a bid to draw travellers from the world of Mice (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions).

The 382-room hotel had a soft opening in July but will have its official grand opening Dec 1.

Naowarat Arunkong, cluster general manager of Avani Sukhumvit Bangkok, said the hotel's selling points are its proximity to the skytrain and Century The Movie Plaza 2.

"At this time, the early and mid-Sukhumvit areas are too busy with high competition, so hospitality brands have to find the new lower Sukhumvit area for providing accommodation to guests who come to Bitec Bang Na, which has events all year round," Ms Naowarat said.

Some 35-40% of the hotel guests are in town for Mice events, followed by corporate groups (10-13%) and leisure travellers (10-12%).

In terms of nationality, visitors from mainland China who travel for leisure are the main market, as well as those from Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Meanwhile, guests from South Korea and Singapore normally come for group meetings or are business people who attend convention events at Bitec.

For long-haul guests, the top markets are Germany, Britain and Australia.

Ms Naowarat said the hotel also seeks to penetrate the Indian market, especially Mice travellers, and plans to sell trips in coordination with Mice-related agencies early next year.

The hotel provides its own Mice facilities with four meeting rooms and a 500-guest ballroom.

The hotel's occupancy rate for 2019 is estimated at 53%, while the occupancy rate for the first full year of operation is expected to reach 62%.

Javier Pardo, vice-president for operations at Avani Hotels & Resorts, said luxury is not the first choice of millennial travellers, and sometimes less is more. Smart designs with useful functions and services can meet the demands of this type of tourist.

"We try to adapt the local experience into properties that we are in to represent the uniqueness of each area," Mr Pardo said.

Avani plans to open three more hotels in Thailand, namely Avani Ao Nang and Avani+ Koh Lanta in Krabi province, and Avani Khaolak in Phangnga province next year.

"We are really optimistic about the overall tourism situation in Thailand next year," Mr Pardo said. "We try to partner with tour operators and wholesalers to keep up with the trend. We hope that Thai tourism will be stable for the next year, as tourism is still rebounding."

Avani Hotels & Resorts operates 29 properties, consisting of 25 Avani hotels and four Avani+ hotels in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

Minor Hotels is a hospitality unit of SET-listed Minor International Plc, which also operates in restaurant services, retail trading and contract manufacturing.

In the first half of this year, Minor International reported revenue of 45.8 billion baht, a 169% year-on-year increase in revenue from its hotels and mixed-use businesses.

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