For the past decade, Thailand’s surging tourism industry has fueled a growing number of Thai hotel management companies (HMCs). Spurring this trend has been upward demand from a rising domestic and regional consumer class coupled with a virtual explosion in low-cost airline expansion. This developing story is reflected in a new report from C9 Hotelworks.
Thai HMCs currently operate 643 hotels across the country, with a total inventory of 77, 654 keys. There are now 83 groups represented across 41 provinces. (Scroll down for top 50 list at end of story.)
The top five Thai chains control 28% of Thai HMC room inventory (see graph to the right): Centara Hotels & Resorts head the list, followed by Onyx Hospitality, Dusit International, Imperial Hotels and Resorts and Minor Hotels Group.
This rise of Thai HMCs is “a by-product of Thailand’s first tourism boom in the 1980s and 90s”, C9 Hotelworks Managing Director Bill Barnett said. “Local expertise sprang up from the influence of international chains.
“This transfer of knowledge, best practices and management ability incubated and eventually the combination of experience and local traditional hospitality have edged into the modern Thai HMC. Looking across Asia, the country ranks as a leader in the hospitality sector.”
One exciting area of development identified by C9 is upscale lifestyle-oriented boutique hotels brands. The Sala group, for example, now operate six properties in various destinations and is “rapidly becoming a prominent brand attracting international recognition”.
Mr Barnett points out that consolidation among Thai HMCs is inevitable.
“One only has to look at the merging of global hotel operating entities and brands and realize the local landscape will see a similar effect sooner than later,” he said.
For now, though, Thai hospitality is elevating the Thailand brand both at home and abroad.