Movenpick will double Thai hotels

Swiss hospitality firm Movenpick Hotels & Resorts still sees potential in Thailand’s upscale hotel segment, particularly in Bangkok, and plans to double its hotels in the country to eight by 2017.

Jens Reichert, vice-president for development, said Thailand was one of the most attractive tourism destinations in Southeast Asia.

Bangkok may be facing an oversupply of five-star hotels, but the upscale segment between four and five stars still has room to grow, he said.

Mr Reichert said growing outbound tourism from emerging markets such as China and India, particularly among the middle and upper classes, would support growth in the upscale segment.

Movenpick operates eight hotels in Asia, half of them in Thailand — two in Phuket, one on Koh Samui and its latest one in Bangkok, which opened in March.

The company plans to open the 264-room Movenpick Siam Hotel Pattaya, positioned for families and meetings, on Jomtien Beach in next year’s first quarter.

Two more hotels in Phuket and another one on Koh Samui will open by 2017.

Mr Reichert said Movenpick was a well-known hotel brand in Europe, North America and Africa, and the Thai operation is expected to woo tourists from these markets.

Average occupancy of 58% is forecast for its Thai hotels this year, down from 60-65% last year.

Its existing Thai hotels are the Movenpick Resort Bangtao Beach Phuket, Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket, Movenpick Resort Laem Yai Beach Samui and Movenpick Hotel Sukhumvit 15 Bangkok.

Movenpick is represented in 25 countries and territories with 83 hotels, resorts and Nile River cruisers.

Some 30 new properties are planned or under construction in Thailand, the Philippines, China and Tunisia.

With its core markets in Europe, Africa and Asia, Movenpick specialises in business and conference hotels and holiday resorts.