As tourism recovers, IHG sets its goals high in Thailand
Multinational hospitality group IHG plans to aggressively expand in Thailand's luxury premium hospitality sector, aiming to capitalise on the country's tourism recovery.
Rajit Sukumaran, IHG’s managing director for Southeast Asia and Korea, said during a media group interview in Bangkok on Tuesday, that Thailand's tourism industry is very positive, with more international tourists expressing a desire to visit Thailand, particularly Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, and Samui Island, which are the top four destinations that IHG's customers search for on their website.
The growth rate of IHG hotels globally in the first quarter of this year was 61 per cent compared to the same quarter last year, and 82 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2019 and Thailand is on this trend as well.
This growth trend reflects the gradual recovery of the country's tourism. More tourists will visit Thailand in the second half of this year now that the government has lifted the Thailand Pass measure to facilitate entry.
Moreover, the recent success of their first rebranding of Sindhorn Midtown Hotel Bangkok marked the entry of Vignette Collection in the country, Sukumaran said.
IHG plans to add two more hotels to this collection with The Aquatique Pattaya, Thailand and Bangkok Chinatown in the next five years, he added.
Ranging from heritage hotels to idyllic resorts, Vignette Collection includes luxury hotels in vibrant destinations.
Sukumaran stated that the demand for premium hotels and resorts is increasing and tourists are looking for not only comfort but also quality and safe hygiene.
Therefore, IHG Hotels & Resorts is partnering local hotel owners and offering them world-class independent hotels with the opportunity to retain their distinctive identity, while benefiting from IHG’s global scale, luxury and lifestyle expertise, and powerful IHG One Rewards loyalty programme, he said.
He explained that the company’s great tradition in Thailand and long-term commitment to the country means it is a key element in IHG’s Southeast Asia growth strategy.
Previously, the group used Thailand to launch new brands in Southeast Asia, such as Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Indigo, Staybridge Suites, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, and now Vignette Collection.
“We continue to grow in Thailand, and plan to double our estate there with 35 hotels in the pipeline,” said Sukumaran.
This ambition will be supported by Vignette Collection. IHG’s 17th and newest brand is fully embracing its commitment to responsible business and more than 100 properties globally are anticipated to join over the next 10 years, he said.
IHG continues to enjoy a strong 2022 in Thailand, which included the signing of Kimpton Hua Hin, the fourth Kimpton in the Kingdom. Upcoming openings include InterContinental Khao Yai Resort, Staybridge Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit and Holiday Inn Resort Samui Bophut Beach, as the company looks to double its estate across all brands by 2026.