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MBK hotel unit in final phase of rebranding

MBK Hotel & Tourism has been rebranding its six properties in order to deal with a changing business environment and market demand.

"Hotel & Tourism is one of MBK's eight business units. The group is in the final phase of rebranding, which is expected to be complete next year. The hotel unit is generating the third most revenue, following the shopping complex and rice business," Supanit Vimooktanon, deputy managing director for operations and marketing, said yesterday.

He said hotels in Bangkok had suffered for about eight months since political forces caused a crisis. Average occupancy at hotels in the capital was 40 per cent during the first six months, down from 75 per cent during the same period last year. Moreover, lengths of stay in Bangkok were only 2.7 days per trip, compared with five days in Pattaya and 10-15 days in Phuket, Samui and Krabi.

He said a lot of tourists shortened their stays in Bangkok and stayed longer in destinations in the provinces for fear of security and safety in the capital. Moreover, foreign tourists are making reservations at the very last minute as they are waiting for special offers or low-priced packages from hotel now that the crisis has ended.

"This is not good for hotels in the long term, but may be needed for survival," Supanit said.

Pathumwan Princess Hotel in Bangkok, which brought in 60 per cent or Bt180 million to Bt200 million in revenue to the unit in first half of this year, is featuring discounts of 6-10 per cent to lure visitors back. In Phuket, it is promoting the Bt160-million Tinidee Resort to golfers, both locals and foreigners. It will soon add conference rooms, outdoor activities, and wedding facilities to attract niche customers. The resort features the Loch Palm and Red Mountain golf courses.

The group has also rebranded its Princess Ranong to Tinidee Hotel@Ranong to focus on the local market as well as government officers. The occupancy rate is 40-50 per cent during low season and up to 75-80 per cent in high season.

Another property is Layana Resort and Spa in Koh Lanta, which the group took over from a foreigner for Bt450 billion, and turned it into an exclusive hotel with an average room rate of Bt8,000 per night. The group spent Bt80 million on some refurbishment. The group also owns the Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort.


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