Thai tycoon’s firm doubles spending amid tourism boom and economic growth

Photo Courtesy Bangkok Post

Asset World Corporation, the property and hotel development unit owned by Thailand‘s wealthiest individual, is set to more than double its spending on acquisitions and development of hotel resorts and commercial properties this year due to the tourism boom.

The company plans to invest over 20 billion baht (US$590 million) in 2023, up from around 10 billion baht last year, according to CEO Wallapa Traisorat. Major projects include a tourist-focused complex in Bangkok and new hotels in popular destinations such as Pattaya and Phuket, reported Bangkok Post.

Thailand’s economy, the second-largest in Southeast Asia, has experienced stronger-than-anticipated growth this year as the revival of tourism boosts earnings for airlines, hotel operators, and other service industries. The Ministry of Finance predicts international arrivals will nearly triple to approximately 30 million in 2023, a significant increase from last year’s 11.2 million.

Wallapa Traisorat said…

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“We have to accelerate new investments as the demand and traffic at our hotels and properties are rising much faster than expected.”

Wallapa added that higher bookings and revenue for their hotels provide more confidence and cash flow to pursue additional acquisitions and developments.

The company, which is controlled by billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, saw its first-quarter net income more than double to 1.42 billion baht from 645 million baht the previous year. Asset World Corporation currently operates 19 hotels, nine shopping malls, and four office buildings. Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, who also owns Thai Beverage Public Company Limited, has a net worth of US$14.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The recently held General Election on May 14 has allowed opposition parties to gain power after nine years of conservative military-backed rule.

The new government is expected to place greater emphasis on measures to stimulate tourism, a significant driver of economic growth and employment in the country. However, Asset World’s shares have experienced a 13% decline this year, compared to a 7.6% drop in the nation’s key stock index.

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