THE Bt18-billion completion of Central Embassy in downtown Bangkok was unveiled yesterday, with its latest anchor, Park Hyatt Bangkok, to be launched on Friday.
Located on Ploenchit Road, the retail complex, which opened its doors in May 2014, aims to increase its traffic by 50 per cent, or about 30,000 visitors per day, this year and to raise the proportion of foreign tourists visiting the complex from 30 per cent to 40 per cent, which it believes to be a good balance. For now, 60 per cent of the visitors to the retail complex are Thais, according to Central Embassy managing director Barom Bhicharnchitr.
He added that traffic at Central Embassy grew by 24 per cent year on year in 2015. However, traffic growth slowed to 15 per cent last year, but has rebounded to a 40-per-cent increase so far this year.
“We are upgrading and adjusting the mix of tenant stores at our shopping complex by adding ‘accessible’ brands and traffic-generating anchors to lure more general shoppers and larger groups of customers,” Barom said.
“We have worked very hard over the past three years to make our retail complex dynamic and to [appeal to] new generations.” He said Central Embassy aimed at combining various attractions in one place, namely shopping, dining, entertainment and family components.
Among the new amenities is Open House, a “community living room”; Siwilai City Club, a new social-club hangout; and the expanded Eathai, an epicentre for Thai cuisine. The investment was Bt300 million for Open House, Bt185 million for the Eathai expansion, and Bt130 million for Siwilai City Club.
“We want to [draw] a wider group of shoppers to our retail complex, including family members, expatriates, and younger people aged 25 and below, as well as tourists,” he said.
Michael Golden, general manager of Park Hyatt Bangkok, said Park Hyatt was a luxury brand. After Hyatt founded the brand in 1979 in Chicago, there now are 39 Park Hyatt hotels in seven regions around the world.
In Southeast Asia, Park Hyatt hotels are now in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
At a development cost of Bt7 billion, the Park Hyatt Bangkok is expected to draw greater traffic to Central Embassy, both inbound and domestic travelers, thanks to the brand’s strong reputation among tourists from the United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and Japan.
The hotel has 222 guest rooms divided into 10 room types and 57 layouts. Start-up occupancy is expected to reach 45 per cent by the end of this year.
“For Park Hyatt Bangkok, we want to capitalise on the various markets, both inbounds and locals, for our guest-room and food and beverage offerings. At the beginning, we will be attractive as a leisure destination and eventually a strong business component given our location,” Golden said.
The chief executive officer of Central Department Store Group, Yuwadee Chirathivat, said that under the “centrality” philosophy, the company aimed to be the centre of the city and of urban life.
“No matter where we are, we promote the Thai quality of life, introducing facilities and con-venience to businesses in various areas, as we are more than a department store. We’re the centre of all, for all.”