Italthai Group’s new hotels on track – plan to open 12 new hotels in one year

Construction News Laos
ONYX’s second Amari property in Vientiane Laos

Italthai Group’s new hotels on track – plan to open 12 new hotels in one year

Onyx parent counts on tourism rebound

Italthai Group, one of Thailand’s oldest construction and hospitality companies, is maintaining a plan to open 12 new hotels in one year despite the coronavirus crisis’s impact on the tourism and service industries.

Yuthachai Charanachitta, group chief executive, said Italthai is committed to expansion across countries in Asia-Pacific, including China, in the expectation that tourism will return to normal.

The 12 hotels will be operated by Onyx Hospitality Group, a unit of Italthai.

Italthai last year assigned a 5-billion-baht budget for new hospitality business and hotel renovation projects.

Although the pandemic dealt a blow to the group’s hotels and serviced apartments, Italthai is using the crisis as an opportunity to renovate its properties and increase hygienic standards, aiming to curry favour with customers in the post-pandemic period.

The disease is causing tremendous changes in consumer behaviour as guests and tenants place greater emphasis on cleanliness at hotels and apartments, Mr Yuthachai said.

Onyx has launched Onyx Clean, a programme to ensure safety and hygienic standards at every stage of a guest’s journey. The scheme is part of a long-term plan to welcome back guests to all properties under the Amari, Ozo and Shama brands.

Renovation projects were carried out during the pandemic at many hotels, including Amari Watergate Bangkok and Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, to give them a fresh look.

Employees were instructed to attend training sessions to keep them abreast of higher health standards.

These preparations should bolster guests’ confidence and satisfaction with the services once they fully resume travel, Mr Yuthachai said.

Italthai is assessing the pandemic’s impact on its businesses in the construction and hospitality fields.

The outbreak caused an unprecedentedly huge impact on hotels. During travel restrictions and temporary business shutdowns, Italthai saw hospitality revenue in Thailand and overseas fall dramatically, by 60-70%, compared with figures in the same period of last year.

But the pandemic only delivered a moderate impact to other core businesses overseen by Italthai Engineering Co, an engineering procurement and construction service provider.

“The spread of Covid-19 affected the hospitality business, but the company continues to move on, thanks to our business diversity,” Mr Yuthachai said.