Management, takeovers in focus
Dusit Thani International is focusing on hotel management contracts overseas and hotel take-overs at home as part of its plan to play a bigger role in the growing hospitality industry.Next year the company would establish its Dusit Thani brand in California in the United States. Going to the West makes it clear that the firm wants to become a truly international brand, CEO Chanin Donavanik said yesterday.
The firm operates Dusit Thani hotels in Dubai and Manila and will soon be in Abu Dhabi, Hainan and Jeddah. Its Dusit Devarana brand will be used in New Delhi and Hainan.
Recently, Dusit Thani opened in the Maldives. The firm bought an existing resort for over Bt2 billion and renovated it in the hope that it will be a revenue driver in the future, so its room rate is high.
The company is interested in developing hotels in Myanmar, especially Rangoon and Mandalay, the hot tourism destinations. However, it is too early to reveal its plan.
Domestically, the firm will look for one or two properties to acquire via its Bt4-billion property fund. The targets will have 200-300 rooms, preferably four stars and locations in a major tourist destinations like Samui and Phuket.
The firm operates 11 hotel properties nationwide with 3,000-4,000 rooms. About 80 per cent of the properties are company owned and the rest are under management contracts.
Local and international expansion will be kept equal to minimise risks. The outlook for the two hospitality markets is still optimistic, even though the United States is in an economic slump. The tourism industry is still growing in the major international tourism cities.
''Next year will be a good one for the company because its investment will turn fruitful, especially in the Maldives, and also our international profile will be spread out,'' he said.
In five years its international sales will be even with domestic sales instead of 10:80 per cent now.
This year, its sales are expected to grow 10 per cent and its occupancy rate to average 60-64 per cent.
Even though domestic tourism has good prospects, room rates in the major cities are cheaper than abroad, resulting in low margins for operators. Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia are among the countries raising room rates, he added.