Thailand’s richest man is expects tourism will rebound quickly. He’s so confident, that he’s now investing in hotels, including a hotel in Pattaya. Asset World Corp., the property arm of Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi’s TCC Group, purchased a Pattaya hotel this month. The company is now searching for more properties.
With the drastic slowdown of international travel over the past year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Thailand’s massive tourism industry has suffered, leaving over 100 hotels for sale, with more properties selling or closing each day. Many hotels have closed down during the pandemic and will not reopen, even when borders reopen, tentatively scheduled for October.
Plans are underway to convert the property in tourist hotspot Pattaya into a branded hotel. Asset World has more than 50 billion baht invested in upcoming projects, with 3 hotels slated to open later this year. Thailand’s tallest tower is also planned, scheduled to begin construction at the beginning of 2023. The company may also acquire properties and land from Charoen’s TCC Group.
Asset World aims to purchase more struggling properties. Stephan Vanden Auweele, chief hospitality group officer, says the time is right to buy.
“If the right products, the right hotels come at the right price, we will definitely look at every opportunity.”
With tourism down, and a third of tourism-related businesses closing down in the last year due to the effects of the pandemic, Charoen’s investment in the Pattaya hotel, and positive outlook on recovery may help boost recovery.
Many hope tourism will pick up as people are vaccinated worldwide and travel restrictions finally begin to ease. Vanden Auweele believes that tourism will recover quickly in October when international travel is fully reopened. But he acknowledges that many hotels were failing before the pandemic, and views this as a chance to refurbish and revitalize the tourist industry.
“This situation is about cleaning up and maybe eliminating whoever was already not doing well before the crisis.”
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