Phuket Property Briefs: Kata Group; Banyan Tree; Thai Smiles
Kata Group opens Khao Lak Resort in November
A new Greater Phuket resort called The Sands Khao Lak By Katathani will open this coming November.
Katathani Resorts have a well known flagship property on Phuket’s west coast and the upscale villa resort The Shore at Kata Noi.
Francois Huet leaves Banyan Tree
One of the island’s best known hotel faces, Francois Huet, will leave the Banyan Tree Phuket this March.
After four years on the island and nine years with the leading boutique luxury resort group, he is currently looking at opportunities closer to his home in Europe.
In addition to his duties in Phuket Francois had oversight in a regional role with other chain properties in Koh Samui, and Luang Prabang.
Another announced departure is that of Group Vice President of Laguna Phuket Property, Banyan Tree and Angsana Residences – Dan Simmons. No replacement has been named at this time.
Thailand tourist arrivals top 19 million in 2011
Tourist arrivals for the year 2011 topped 19 million, achieving a 19 % increase over the previous year.
According to the Thailand Tourism Department projects for 2012 look at grow to between 20.5 – 20.8 per cent for this year.
Thai Smiles shifts focus to regional routes
Thai Airways International have made public a strategy shift for their new startup airline Thai Smile.
In a departure from initial plans which focused on domestic routes via Bangkok, the carrier will place an emphasis on regional destinations such as India, China and other SE Asian countries within three to four hours flying time.
One driving factor looks to be on the heels of a larger shareholding in Nok Air which is firmly entrenched in a Thailand network of flights.
Viewing the proposition from the outside, the move makes sense given the increasingly competitive low cost carrier sector.
Expectations are for the airline to come on line by the middle part of this year.
Bill Barnett is Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks and can be contacted through c9hotelworks.com.
— Bill Barnett
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