July 14, 2014 00:00 By Suchart Sritama The Nation 4,361 Viewed
Another 15 eyed here and abroad over next three years
Onyx Hospitality Group, one of the biggest Thai hotel-management firms, plans to raise its presence among global players by operating 15 more hotels domestically and overseas over the next three years.
According to its three-year plan (2014-2016), the group is scheduled to operate 15 more hotels: six Amari, three Shama, four OZO, and two in The Mosaic Collection (TMC).
The group also plans to increase its total property portfolio to 81 by 2018, from 37 currently.
This year, Onyx is set to take over operation of Amari Dhaka in Bangladesh and OZO Pattaya in Thailand. Next year, it will operate Amari Residences Jomtien in Pattaya, Amari Johor Bahru in Malaysia, Amari Dali in China, OZO Penang in Malaysia, OZO Kandy and OZO Galle in Sri Lanka, Shama Beijing and Shama Chengdu in China, Pattaya Bay Resort, and Nova Residence Pattaya.
It will continue taking on more hotels in 2016, namely Amari Pecatu Bali in Indonesia and Amari Huidong and Shama Pazhou Guangzhou in China.
Onyx Group currently operates 37 hotels with a total of 5,990 rooms in Thailand and four other countries, namely Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and China, including Hong Kong. Onyx owns some of these properties, and manages some that are owned by others.
To further its international expansion in coming years, the group plans to establish more representative offices in countries such as China, Britain, Australia and Germany. It is already has offices in mainland China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UAE.
Its other core businesses – Maai Spa and Breeze Spa – are also set to open along with this expansion.
ML Suravut Thongthaem, Onyx senior vice president for development and owner relations, Southeast Asia, said the group was undertaking major renovations at its own hotels.
Amari Phuket is scheduled for renovation and additional rooms by the end of 2016. Amari Samui will be closed for a year for a major renovation. Refurbishment of Amari Orchid in Pattaya is to be complete next year, while renovation work at Amari Watergate in Bangkok has just finished. Last year, the group renovated Amari Don Mueang Airport.
Suravut said the group had been in the hotel business for 50 years, so it was confident about entering overseas markets and taking its place other global hospitality players.
“Our strengths are that we are well established and have had long experience, particularly in the hotel sector. Although we have faced many crises, we have stayed in business,” he said.
To continue expanding amid crises, the group keeps moving on its human resources, having provided training to 6,000 people. This is part of its preparations for future growth. The group is also committed to avoiding staff lay-offs even in crisis periods, and also gives annual bonuses on a performance basis.
The group has also invested a lot to improve its internal purchasing system, its reservation system, and internal management, also hiring professionals at managerial levels.
Asked what the hotel sector should see in the remaining months of this year, Suravut said the business should rebound to near normalcy in the third and fourth quarters. New bookings at hotels in beach destinations such as Phuket, Krabi and Samui are returning significantly, while hotels in Bangkok may take a longer time to recover. However, the overall occupancy rate at hotels in the capital is expected to increase from 50 per cent currently to 60 per cent this quarter.
He also predicted that the country might not achieve the target of 28 million international arrivals this year because of a slowdown from long-haul markets such as North America and Europe.
Onyx Group’s revenue and average occupancy rate declined by 8 per cent in first six months compared with same time last year. Occupancy at its hotels in Bangkok, Koh Chang, Pattaya and Samui dropped by anywhere from 2 to 20 per cent. However, its hotels in Phuket, Krabi and Hua Hin saw occupancy grow by 12-20 per cent in the same period.
In this extra-low season in a post-coup period, the group is revising its marketing strategies by focusing on segments such as wholesale, meetings and conferences, and also the domestic market.