Thailand’s Central Group to invest 20 bil baht in hotels, malls development abroad

07, Nov. 2019

A commercial complex in Vienna to be developed by Central Group and Austria's Signa group. (Image courtesy of Netherlands Architecture Institute OMA)
A commercial complex in Vienna to be developed by Central Group and Austria's Signa group. (Image courtesy of Netherlands Architecture Institute OMA)

BANGKOK, NNA – Thai conglomerate Central Group will invest over 20 billion baht ($661 million) in hotels and malls development overseas in a move to cash in on tourism boom abroad amid a tailwind for baht.

The group plans to initiate the development of a hotel in Osaka, western Japan, and a commercial complex, including a luxury hotel, department store, retail shops, and restaurants, in Austria’s capital Vienna, it said in a statement on Monday.

In its strategy to boost presence in major tourist cities, the group will open 34-story Centara Grand Hotel Osaka, its first Centara brand property in partnership with Centara Hotels & Resorts, in the center of the second most popular foreign tourist destination in Japan in 2023.

A joint venture with Austria’s major real estate company Signa Holding GmbH will develop the 58,000 square-meter commercial complex, which is due to open in the same year. The upscale hotel will have 150-165 rooms.

Besides the two projects, Central Group has refurbished a Rinascente department store in Turin, Italy, after the acquisition of the property at 2 billion baht and held a reopening ceremony last month, the statement said.

The massive investment is “partly attributed to the strong Thai baht,” the group said in the statement.

Central Group’s international operations are primarily in Europe, Maldives, and Vietnam, accounting for around 30 percent of the group revenue.

The overseas sales ratio is expected to grow in the next five years with the new projects in the pipeline thanks to a growing shopping spree by Thai travelers to Europe, according to the statement.