Centara’s Ambitious Plans
Centara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand’s leading hotel operator, has revealed its recent business performance, expansion plans and strategic direction for the future, including multiple new hotels, fresh destinations and new brand concepts. Centara’s ambitious plans will usher in an exciting era of growth will help the group reach its long-term goal of becoming a top 100 global hotel operator within five years – a vision that will see it reach a total of 200 hotels and resorts by 2026, up from 88 properties at present, and with approximately half of that growth coming from destinations outside of its native Thailand.
Centara recently confirmed that it achieved total revenues of almost Bt1.09 billion (US$33 million) in Q4 2021, an increase of 54% year-on-year, despite the continued impact of the pandemic. The growth is expected to gain more momentum in 2022 with the acceleration of the global travel and hospitality recovery, which will be supported by the further relaxing of travel restrictions into Thailand, and is buoyed by the resilience and strong performance of Centara’s key international destinations such as the Middle East and the Maldives.
It’s not just Centara’s existing portfolio that will enjoy the continued tourism rebound in 2022, as the group has announced its intention to open eight new hotels and resorts this year, comprising 1,066 keys. These properties will span Thailand, with openings in Bangkok, Korat and Ubon; and international destinations including, Laos, Oman and Qatar.
The group also revealed a core component of its growth strategy will be through collaboration with a strong development partner, specifically to launch new projects within Thailand, under both existing and new brands, and commencing this year. The luxurious Centara Reserve concept, which was launched in December 2021 with the debut of Centara Reserve Samui, will be enhanced with additional property in Krabi, and the group is also considering projects in up-and-coming Thai markets such as Koh Lanta and Cha Am. Centara is also exploring a new opportunity in the Medical Wellness segment with an established operator from Europe, and Koh Tao and Samui are the potential locations under discussion.
“As the world emerges from the global pandemic and travel restrictions start to ease, we are highly optimistic that the hospitality industry will rebound rapidly. Despite the challenges of the last two years, Centara can reflect on its performance with pride. Now, as we enter 2022, we are delighted to reveal our expansion strategy for the months and years ahead. With multiple new hotels and resorts set to open in many dynamic markets, both in Thailand and overseas, including innovative brands, this is an exciting time for our company as we strive to become a top 100 global hotel operator,” said Thirayuth Chirathivat, CEO of Centara Hotels & Resorts.
Internationally, Centara has been given the green light to develop two new upscale resorts in the Maldives, following successful Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for three idyllic islands in the Indian Ocean. These resorts are slated to open in 2024 and 2025, doubling Centara’s presence in the Maldives to four properties. In Japan, a landmark high-rise hotel is currently under construction in Osaka, a joint venture between Centara, Taisei Corporation and Kanden Realty & Development, which will start welcoming guests in mid 2023, and in Vietnam, COSI Phu Yen Hotel is scheduled to open in 2023, marking this cutting-edge, affordable lifestyle concept’s first location outside Thailand.
Centara’s international growth focus will be centred on Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, Japan, China, and the Middle East primarily, including Saudi Arabia following the recent normalisation of the country’s diplomatic relations with Thailand. The group is also considering options in Europe.
Centara will evolve its business strategy to focus on emerging trends and market dynamics in the coming years. Within Thailand, the group is seeing rising demand for more experiential travel as well as workations, as guests escape the office and work remotely for a few days or longer, especially in beach destinations. It also foresees a strong rebound in international long-haul and leisure business in Thailand, due to the country’s reopening strategy and vaccination programme, but was quick to reiterate that it feels the remaining restrictions need to be removed imminently for the required potential to be reached.
At an operational level, Centara will continue to invest in the latest technology following its recent overhaul of its technology architecture. The group has recently revamped its entire website, booking, property management and reservation platforms and is currently concluding the rollout of its industry-leading Customer Relationship Management solution, all of which will serve to drive greater distribution, guest management, a seamless guest experience across all touchpoints and a superior and highly personalised guest experience. The group is also focusing on talent development through effective staff training programmes and is further emphasising its focus on sustainable solutions, with a target of reducing energy and water usage by 20% within 10 years, and certifying 100% of its portfolio with respected environmental accreditation bodies by 2025.
Source: Centara Hotels & Resorts.