Japanese hotels ramp up investment in Thailand
By Shizuka Yasunari
BANGKOK, NNA - Japanese hotels are investing more in Thailand to meet rising demand for high-end accommodation, vying for market share with such global players as Marriott and Accor.
Hotel Okura Co. has plans for a third hotel in 2021 after opening its 22-story, 301-room Hotel Nikko Bangkok in January with a luxury Japanese restaurant, outdoor swimming pool and bathrooms equipped with washlet toilets.
Hotel Nikko Bangkok says it expects 55 percent of its guests will be Japanese willing to pay upwards of 4,500 baht ($142) per night.
Japanese chain Kuretakeso Co. is investing about 1.3 billion yen ($11.7 million) to build an eight-story, 107-room hotel, including six tatami-mat rooms, in southeast Bangkok
It will be equipped with a spa, fitness center, meeting rooms, restaurants and a comic book reading space, with room rates ranging from 7,500 to 8,500 yen ($67 to $76) for business travelers.
Kyushu Railway Co. is currently managing Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit 11, a rented property, in central Bangkok. The 32-story hotel is run by Marriott International Inc. and has 298 guest rooms.
JR Kyushu has also teamed up with Hoosiers Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd., a Singapore unit set up by Tokyo-based Hoosiers Holdings, and Thai developer All Inspire Development PCL., to build its first overseas condominium project in Bangkok.
Data released by the Japan National Tourism Organization shows the number of visitors to Thailand reached 35.38 million in 2017, making it the 10th most popular destination globally and the second most popular in Asia after China, which attracted 60.74 million.
The number of visitors to Thailand is expected to top the 40-million mark this year.
Japan’s hotel companies are emphasizing Japanese attention to service, or “omotenashi,” to distinguish themselves from competitors.
Thai Hotel & Hospitality Management Association President, Kamol Ratanavirakul, warns that Japanese operators are competing with a wave of investment from the Marriott and Hyatt groups.
Marriott International plans to open 17 hotels in Thailand by 2021, while Accor S.A. of France will open 20 hotels there by 2020.