PROPERTY developer Felicity Asset Co Ltd yesterday announced plans to spend Bt3 billion expanding its retail and hospitality businesses in the Eastern region to cash in on the development of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
Managing director Pattamabhorn Nokhong said the development of public and business infrastructure in the Eastern provinces in tandem with the technology-driven EEC initiative would boost the growth potential for the retail and hospitality sectors in the area.
“We are confident that hotel and accommodation businesses in the East will continue to grow,” said Pattamabhorn, whose company has long focused on developments in the Eastern region.
“Under the government policy of Thailand 4.0, there is support and stimulus from tourism as a key generator of revenue in the country.
“There are also the many EEC projects in the Eastern Seaboard provinces of Rayong, Chon Buri and Chachoengsao.”
She said that even though there would be more intense competition in the hotel industry in the area, there would be a significant increase in the overall numbers of people visiting the EEC.
“We have strong confidence that the potential will be high, thanks to combined investment destined to flow into EEC zone by both the government and the private sector,” Pattamabhorn said. “This would reach approximately Bt200 billion a year.
“We expect that in the next two to three years, the hotel occupancy rates in the East will not be lower than 70 per cent on average.”
Pattamabhorn said the family founded the Laemthong Rayong shopping centre more than 20 years ago. Six years ago, Pattamabhorn was asked by her father Somkhuan Nokhong to join the family business and has since rebranded the shopping centre as the Passion Shopping Destination shopping centre.
“Our business expansion plans in the next three years will focus on the development of hotels, retail complexes and office buildings for rent, as we are an expert in the field and a leader in these businesses in Rayong,” she said.
“These projects will facilitate and support the growth of the overall economy in the East. The investment budget will be around Bt3 billion.”
Felicity Asset has launched the Holiday Inn & Suites Rayong City Centre, which is the first in Thailand to offer a long-term rentals, it says. The hotel is managed by InterContinental Hotels Group, a global hotel chain with more than 4,600 affiliated hotels.
Costing Bt2.5 billion, the Holiday Inn & Suites Rayong City Centre occupies 39,655 square metres, with 288 rooms. The hotel is in the same area as the shopping centre, on a 23-rai plot on Sukhumvit Road. The businesses are 33 kilometres from U-Tapao Airport. The hotel opened in September.
“We aim to develop this area as a new landmark in the Eastern region,” said Pattamabhorn, adding that the main target groups are foreign business people, such as Germans, Japanese, Koreans and Chinese. Also catered to would be Thai businessmen working in the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, the Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate, and in Rayong. Foreigners would represent about 70 per cent of its target customers, she said.
“We expect to earn Bt1.2 billion in combined revenue from the hotel and shopping centre businesses next year,” Pattamabhorn said.
Ian Pirodon, general manager of the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Rayong City Centre, said the hotel is operated by InterContinental Hotels Group, which is the world's largest UK-branded hotel chain, managing 777,675 rooms.
Due to the high growth potential for hotel and other hospitality sectors in Rayong province, Holiday Inn & Suites Rayong City Centre is set to offer long-term, monthly and yearly accommodation, Piradon said, adding this was a first in Thailand.