Saturday, October 20, 2018

In focus


Centara reveals aggressive expansion plans
February 2018 2093

In November last year, Centara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand’s leading hotel operator, announced the appointment of Markland Blaiklock as deputy chief executive officer, responsible for steering the company’s expansion to double both its revenues and number of properties over the next five years. (Blaiklock returns to Centara in an expanded capacity having previously served as the company’s chief operating officer in 2015.)

Centara is Thailand’s largest domestic hotel operator and continues to increase its international footprint, with 57 properties in operation or under development across 12 countries in Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, China, the Middle East and the Caribbean. The company operates a diverse portfolio ranging from 5-star luxury hotels in major cities to remote tropical island resorts and innovative value properties. It differentiates itself from competitors by offering gracious, Thai-style service; branded spas and restaurants with excellent reputations; and a variety of formats and service innovations that deliver quality and value to business and leisure travellers.

 

FIVE-YEAR PLANS

In 2017 Centara was active in Asia and the Middle East opening new hotels, signing management and joint venture agreements, and launching its new COSI lifestyle brand. It plans to continue growing, doubling revenue during the next five years by executing three, broad strategies.   

The company plans to expand its current portfolio, doubling the number of properties it operates via new investments and management agreements. It will add hotels and resorts where tourism demand, the business environment, and synergy with existing company assets and customers offer the best strategic opportunities.

In geographic terms, Centara aims to become more prominent in Southeast Asian markets, the Indian Ocean and the Middle East, while expanding its footprint into East Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. The company will also develop and expand new brands (such as COSI) to fill gaps in its hotel and resort portfolio.

The company will identify and pursue new business opportunities outside its historic hotel and resort core. These related businesses – branded residences are an example – will leverage Centara’s hospitality competencies and competitive strengths, targeting new or growing markets through brand development or acquisitions.

The company will strengthen its core infrastructure, including operating platforms, technology, and reputation. It wants its systems to be best in class to ensure business and service processes are efficient and effective. This includes improving the customer experience via websites, mobile apps, relationship management systems and loyalty programmes. Centara also aims to increase international brand awareness using mass media, new media, event and relationship marketing.

Thirayuth Chirativat, Centara’s chief executive officer, remarked on the vision. ”We are entering a significant phase of growth. Centara has always been at the forefront of the hospitality industry in Thailand and with our concerted focus on expansion in both new and existing markets, we will become an even more prominent regional player in the coming years. With the dynamic and progressive management team we have in place, the future development and growth of the company is very exciting.”

 

SECOND COSI

Centara recently broke ground in North Pattaya for another COSI hotel. COSI is a new brand designed for the modern, connected lifestyle of a growing travel market segment. It offers friendly, simple and affordable accommodations, with innovations like smartphone integration, self-service check-in, and a unique 24-hour lifestyle café concept with more freedom and flexibility. The first COSI hotel opened in Samui in December.

COSI Pattaya Naklua Beach will offer 282 hi-tech rooms, all with Smart TVs. Free wi-fi and convenient USB ports are in every room and throughout the hotel. COSI also features a swimming pool, laundromat, and the all-hours “Hub”, a social hangout and digital playspace, with integrated WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) Café. Guests can enjoy free food and drink there using the daily credits they get with their stay. The location is a short walk to the beach and five-minutes’ drive to Central Festival Pattaya. The hotel will open in 2019.

The development of the COSI brand is an integral part of the company’s ambitious, five year expansion plan. Within that timeframe, Centara expects to add close to 40 more COSI hotels to its portfolio, all situated in resort and city locations throughout Thailand and Asia.  




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