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Gaming in Thailand Wouldn’t Bring Immediate Benefits to Hotels

Alan Woinski
April 10th, 2024 at 7:02 AM EDT

Skift Take

Maybank Securities forecasts significant revenue potential for Thai gambling complexes, but warns of initial profitability challenges and limited tourism industry benefits.

Maybank Securities said that Thai entertainment (gambling) complexes could yield approximately THB187 billion (US$5.14 billion) in annual revenue, equivalent to roughly 1% of Thailand’s GDP. A draft bill on this is expected soon to be submitted to parliament. Maybank said while the complexes will include numerous hotel rooms, that may not yield profits initially, aiming to draw in gamblers. They also do not believe the rest of the tourism industry will benefit in the initial stages. If this follows Singapore’s path, property prices will rise as property prices in Singapore surged 30% year on year in 2007, preceding the opening of casinos in 2010. The primary beneficiary could be the airports in Thailand. Maybank warned hotels near the complexes may not experience significant gains from a potential increase in room rates. Originally the thought was three major complexes but somehow the bill is morphing into five to eight gambling complexes across multiple provinces.

Dusit International is urging Thailand’s government to focus on enhancing the quality of tourism and encouraging exploitation of lesser-known destinations to boost the industry. They believe the government’s existing tourism promotion policies, including visa-free schemes and luxury tax reductions, are effective. At the same time, they feel Thailand should focus on increasing spending, rather than counting on volume, steering guests to second tier cities, the same way Thai tourists are eager to explore new destinations in Japan. The growth of hotels in major Thai cities continues due to the strengthening of the inbound markets from the Middle East, China, Southeast Asia and South Korea. Dusit feels the hospitality sector should avoid engaging in price wars and instead compete through quality service to attract guests.

The Straits Times reported Chinese hotels with three-star ratings or more have been told to accept payments with foreign bank cards, as the government tries to make it easier for visitors to travel in the country and give the economy a boost. Major tourist attractions have also been told to accept overseas bank cards, as well as support payments in cash and increase foreign-exchange services. China recorded 35.5 million entries and exits by foreign nationals in 2023. While that was a huge jump from 2022 when the Zero Covid policy had the borders mostly closed, the number was still only about one third of what China saw in 2019.

Nusa My Ozone announced a landmark collaboration with Kempinski Hotels. Nusa My Ozone is a subsidiary of Nusasiri Public Co Ltd. They unveiled the Kempinski Hotel & Residences Khao Yai, nestled within the embrace of Nusa My Ozone in Khao Yai. The Khao Yai National Park is the oldest and most famous in Thailand. This will be the third Kempinski property in Thailand and the first outside the Bangkok Metropolitan area. Scheduled for debut in 2026, Kempinski Hotel & Residences Khao Yai features 123 keys. The selection includes 63 hotel rooms including an iconic suite, 48 keys of Branded Residences Condominiums spread across six buildings and 12 exclusive two- and three-bedroom Luxury Pool Villas. F&B options include an all-day dining restaurant complemented by a cozy Tearoom and Private VIP room, as well as the upscale Pollen fine dining restaurant which includes a Cigar Lounge & Bar Zone upstairs and fine dining area downstairs. Other amenities include a Banquet Hall, Eco Pool, and a Signature Central Yard as well as a Spa and Gym. The My Ozone Golf Club Khao Yai is adjacent to the Kempinski Hotel & Residences. The property offers 48 units of Branded Residences Condominium and 12 Super Luxury Pool Villas.

Banyan Group has launched for sale units at Garrya Residences Phuket, a beachfront property in Phuket, Thailand. The property is located at the upcoming Garrya Phuket Hotel, which is part of the Laguna Phuket integrated resort on Bang Tao Beach along Phuket’s Central West Coast. Laguna Phuket is a property under Laguna Resorts & Hotels, which is part of the Banyan Group. Garrya Residences Phuket consists of 38 two-bedroom apartments and penthouses that feature their own private rooftop pool. Owners at the Garrya Residences have access to Garrya Phuket Hotel’s facilities and will also have the option to include their property in the hotel’s inventory. Through the arrangement, the hotel will manage their property, with owners allowed to exchange part of their annual stay entitlement for a complimentary stay in another participating location under Banyan Group. Amenities at the development include a jungle pool, reflection pond, a wellness and spa treatment zone, beach club and bar complete with a lap pool and party pool.

IHG Hotels & Resorts has added another Holiday Inn Express hotel to its Karnataka portfolio with the opening of Holiday Inn Express Bengaluru Bommasandra. The hotel is located along the national highway with access to major corporate hubs, Electronic City – Jigani – Bommasandra Industrial Area. The hotel features 135 rooms, Express Café & Bar all-day dining restaurant and two meeting rooms with 1,150 square feet of space.

Indian Hotels Company announced the signing of a resort near Joka on Diamond Harbour Road in Kolkata. IHCL partnered with owner Merlin Group, a leading real estate group in East India for the resort. IBIZA – an IHCL SeleQtions, is a 130 key urban resort, nestled in 11 acres of landscaped gardens, strategically located on Diamond Harbour road in Kriparampur. The resort will offer an all-day diner, specialty restaurant, bar, swimming pool, lake and a variety of recreational activities including an indoor and outdoor activities and kids’ arenas. The versatile banqueting will feature an over 5,400 square foot ballroom, conference halls, pre-function areas, meeting rooms and scenic outdoor venues. The resort is expected to open in October 2025. With the addition of this resort, IHCL will have seven hotels across Taj, SeleQtions, Vivanta and Ginger brands in Kolkata including two under development.

The University of Tasmania will be putting two Hobart CBD hotels up for sale. The Australian properties were originally purchased to provide much-needed student accommodation at a time of acute housing stress. The Mid City and Fountainside hotels were purchased in 2018 and 2019 respectively and provided accommodation for 174 students at their peak, enabling the University to meet student demand while a new 422-bed facility was under construction for the university, opening in 2021. The university does not feel the hotels are required for student accommodations anymore as the opening of Hytten Hall resulted in accommodation for more than 1,500 students across the Hobart CBD and Sandy Bay. The hotels will go on the market seeking expressions of interest on April 11.

The Oriental Leyte Hotel, a premier hotel owned by former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos and leased by a private company from the Leyte provincial government, has ceased operations after nearly 12 years since it reopened under new management. The hotel in Palo town stopped operating on April 6 with no explanation as to why management decided to close the hotel. The Oriental Hotel Leyte, located just outside the MacArthur Shrine National Memorial Park in Palo, is part of the Oriental Hotels and Resorts chain of the LKY Group of Companies.

Alan Woinski
April 10th, 2024 at 7:02 AM EDT

Companies: Dusit International, Banyan Investment Group, Holiday Inn Express, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Kempinski Hotels, Laguna Resorts and Hotels, SeleQtions, The Indian Hotels Company Ltd

Locations: Japan, Karnataka, Kolkata, Philippines, Phuket, Singapore, Tasmania, Thailand

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