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Thailand May Add Tourism Fee and Expand Domestic Hotel Subsidy

Alan Woinski
January 17th, 2023 at 7:59 AM EST

Skift Take

  • Hotels in Thailand still want the government to accelerate the launch of the new phase of the domestic stimulus scheme even with an influx of Chinese tourists expected to show up.
  • Hyatt Hotels announced the opening of Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach, the debut of the Andaz brand in Thailand.
  • IHG Hotels & Resorts has opened its first Crowne Plaza hotel in Bangladesh in partnership with Doreen Hotels & Resorts

Hotels in Thailand still want the government to accelerate the launch of the new phase of the domestic stimulus scheme even with an influx of Chinese tourists expected to show up. The Thai Hotels Association said the “We Travel Together” hotel subsidy scheme provides integral support for hotels and domestic tourists in terms of spending but they believe the allocation of 560,000 rooms for the new phase might be too low to generate income for the industry nationwide. They want things tweaked like allowing bookings only on weekdays to help steer tourists to less crowded days. They also believe the government should continue subsidizing conference meetings that use hotel services and persuade large corporate and government agencies to hold meetings in the provinces. Meanwhile, the government in Thailand is planning to impose a new THB300 ($9) tourism fee starting in June. Tourism operators said they are re-evaluating expectations for bookings as the “landing fee” comes into place for all arrivals by land, water or air. The fee is still subject to approval by the Thai cabinet in February. It would not be imposed on foreigners with Thai work permits or border passes. The new fee is being imposed to fund tourists’ accident coverage of THB1 million and medical coverage of THB500,000. The government was said to have spent THB300-400 million on injured foreign tourists prior to the pandemic. Thailand is expecting 25 million visitors in 2023, still way below the 40 million they had in 2019.

Hyatt Hotels announced the opening of Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach, the debut of the Andaz brand in Thailand. The luxury lifestyle resort is nestled across over 15 acres of beachfront land, an oceanfront sanctuary on Tawanron Beach in the Na Jomtien area. The resort features 204 rooms, suites and villas starting from 538 square feet, set in low-rise clustered buildings. In the coming months, two heritage-inspired houses will open, giving accommodations ideal for multi-generational families and intimate celebrations. They include a duplex four-bedroom Manor House and a six-bedroom Presidential Heritage House. The resort has six restaurants and bars, three outdoor swimming pools including a beachfront pool. The PANPURI Spa is a collaboration with the exclusive Thai wellness brand. There also is a 24-hour fitness center. For events, the resort offers the 3,229-square-foot Garden Pavilion and Ruen Thai, the restored two-level heritage building.

Absolute Hotel Services Group signed an agreement with SMC Land Company Limited to launch the very first Eastin Estates branded property – Eastin Estates Hua Hin in Thailand. The 140 key luxury, pet-friendly residential development provides an extended stay residential community experience to meet the growing needs of the active senior market with services and facilities for residents that encourage health and social connections. Eastin Estates Hua Hin will feature a resident’s lounge, restaurant, convenience store, swimming pool, gym, walking track and wellness clinic and is just 30 minutes away from Bangkok Hospital Hua Hin. The project is under development with a planned opening in late 2023.

IHG Hotels & Resorts has opened its first Crowne Plaza hotel in Bangladesh in partnership with Doreen Hotels & Resorts in the heart of Gulshan 2, the prime central business and residential area in Dhaka. 

IHG also announced they signed a management agreement with Atharva Hotel Superfluities India Pvt Ltd for a new build voco hotel – voco Gurugram Golf Course Extension Road. The hotel is in the advanced stages of construction and will open soon, adding 204 keys to IHG’s premium portfolio in the country. The hotel will be opposite the International Finance Center, just off the main Golf Course Extension Road, My Den, M3M Urbana, an established business and commercial arm of Gurugram. The hotel will feature an all-day dining restaurant, lobby lounge, a bar, outdoor pool and a gym. The hotel will also offer meeting rooms and a business center.

Indian Hotels Company marked its debut in Dudhwa, Uttar Pradesh in India with the opening of Jaagir Manor – a SeleQtions Hotel. The hotel is located in the heart of the rainforests of the Terai Himalayas bordering Nepal. The 20-room hotel is nestled within tranquil orchards and surrounding forests. The hotel includes an all-day diner. With the addition of the hotel, IHCL will have 17 hotels across brands in the state of Uttar Pradesh including seven under development.

Devi Ratn, an Indian Hotels SeleQtions hotel located in the city of Jaipur, is ready to welcome more guests with the addition of 82 new rooms and recreational facilities including a lobby bar, restaurant, spa and meeting spaces. This gives the hotel more than double its previous inventory to a total of 145 rooms and suites offering views of the surrounding Aravalli hills. The 82 additional rooms will include premium luxury accommodations and IHCL introduced Oriental Pavilion, the new restaurant. There also is a new lobby bar, brand new spa block and added meeting and conference facilities.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Asia Pacific announced they expanded their presence in Vietnam with Wyndham Danang Golden Bay. The hotel is the first for Wyndham in Danang and the thirteenth hotel for them in the country. This is the second hotel Wyndham opened with Hoa Binh Group, the first being Dolce by Wyndham Hanoi Golden Lake. The hotel has 949 rooms comprising presidential suites, 2 bedroom suites and guestrooms. The main hall includes a 24k gold-plated display of the 10 wonders of the modern world. There also is a 24k gold-plated infinity-edged swimming pool. The hotel is just a 20-minute drive from Danang International Airport.

Anantara Veli Maldives Resort reopened on December 1, 2022, following nine months of extensive renovations. Those renovations include revamped accommodations, including the introduction of stylish new Beach Pool Villas, a new Villa Hotel service for all guests, newly redesigned restaurants and a hammam added to the wellness-focused spa. The resort is located on a natural island in the South Male Atoll. The resort’s brand new Beach Pool Villas are set directly on soft white sands and come with sliding glass doors that open onto a private pool flanked by a cushioned daybed, an open-air living and dining space and an island-style bedroom surrounded by tropical foliage. Each of the six new Beach Pool Villas offer 148 square meters of space with direct beach access and the utmost in privacy. The over water villas have been fully renovated and elevated with the addition of six new Deluxe Over Water Pool Villas with enhanced interiors, a larger private pool and deck and an over-water hammock. The relaunch of Anantara Veli also sees the introduction of a new wellness concept which allows guests to book a personalized Wellness Villa experience.

Swiss-Belhotel International, aiming to reach 10 hotels, 2000 rooms by 2025 in Malaysia, embarked on a strategic joint venture with Nautical Insight Sdn Bhd, owner of LaCrista Hotel, a 5 star flagship hotel, with 225 furnished rooms. LaCrista by Swiss-Belhotel, located in Melaka marks Swiss-Belhotel’s expansion in Malaysia and forms part of a broader growth strategy in the country and worldwide. The group is planning to introduce new properties in the future to other key destinations within Malaysia, including Kuala Lumpur.

Selina Hospitality PLC announced it opened its fourth hotel in AustraliaSelina Magnetic Island, on December 23. The hotel is located right by the Great Barrier Reef, a five-minute walk from Horseshoe Bay. It offers 145 bedspaces available in the first phase, including powered caravan sites and private room options. This is the fifth hotel Selina opened in the past year in the APAC region and fourth in Australia. The hotel will offer on-site features including a swimming pool, wellness deck, a CoWork made from a refurbished school bus, outdoor bar, pool table and on-site wildlife park.

Alan Woinski
January 17th, 2023 at 7:59 AM EST

Companies: Absolute Hotel Services, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, Andaz, Crowne Plaza, Dolce Hotels and Resorts, Hoa Binh Group, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Minor Hotels, SeleQtions, Selina, Swiss-Belhotel International, The Indian Hotels Company Ltd, Voco, Wyndham, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Australia, Bangkok, Bangladesh, Danang, Dhaka, Gurugram, India, Jaipur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Maldives, Pattaya, Thailand, Uttar Pradesh, Vietnam

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