Burasiri aims to build international hotel chain, beginning in Asia
Burasari Group, the operator of Burasari hotels and resorts, is looking for business opportunities in Asia to build up its hotel chain and increase its international profile.It is interested in Sri Lanka and Asean countries, including Myanmar. However, its expansion plan will go step by step to secure its investment. In Asean, the investment climate is still undermined by unclear regulations from country to country, according to Lily Udomkunnatum, the group's managing director.
Last December, the firm opened the four-star Burasari Heritage Luang Prabang in Laos, its first hotel abroad, at a cost of Bt125 million, which offers 23 rooms.
Currently, the firm operates two hotels in Thailand - Burasari Resort Patong in Phuket and Shanghai Mansion in Bangkok. It expects its future expansion to help raise its chain profile in the international market before beginning to expand into the hotel-management business.
Under its investment plan, it would be required to construct a hotel of more than 100 rooms at each location to get a quick return on investment. Each construction is expected to cost more than Bt100 million.
However, the firm remains interested in investing in high-potential areas domestically as well. It has two plots of empty land in Khao Yai in Nakhon Ratchasima and on Koh Ma Praw, 10 minutes from Phuket.
"Choosing to invest the company's own money is the first step before operating a hotel-management business with property owners. At least, the company should have five of its own hotels in its profile chain to ensure credibility in the industry,'' Lily said.
In the future, her ambition is to become a bigger player in Asia, similar to Thai brands such as Dusit Thani, Amari and Centara. She said her hotel chain remained uniquely in touch with tourists, especially from Asia.
This year, she said the outlook for the hospitality sector in Thailand remained good thanks to political stability and no natural disasters emerging.
Last year, the two hotels under the group in Thailand earned a combined Bt261 million, of which Bt76 million was contributed by Shanghai Mansion in Yaowarat.
This year, sales from Shanghai Mansion will increase Bt80 million, while sales from the hotel in Phuket will drop by about Bt10 million because of its renovation.
The hotel in Luang Prabang is expected to earn about Bt40 million in sales. Partly, the amount is contributed by its eight-room guest house named Chang Inn, located in the same Laotian city. Each room costs US$50-$80 (Bt1,500-Bt2,400) per night.