Minor expects collaboration with European NH brand to boost growth


Minor Hotels is collaborating with the European NH Hotel Group as part of a strategy to attract more guests from western countries, which could boost the hotel chain’s growth by 20 per cent.

Dillip Rajakarier, Group CEO Minor International and CEO Minor Hotels, told a press conference on Thursday that the collaboration with NH Hotel Group, Europe's fourth-largest hotel company, would provide more diverse and unique experiences for tourists visiting the country.

The move follows a strong rebound in Thailand's tourism industry and is an effort to push occupancy rates to more than 75% as in 2019.

He explained that due to the limited number of flights arriving in Thailand, it would be difficult and time-consuming to restore the occupancy rate to pre-Covid-19 levels, hence Minor Hotels should focus on room rates instead.

Rajakarier expected the revenue of Minor Hotels in Thailand to continue growing with a 10-15% bottomline growth.

The NH Hotel brand made its debut recently in Thailand with the signing of NH Boat Lagoon Phuket Resort. The group will add two more properties in the country to its NH Collection.

NH Collection Chiang Mai Ping River is currently under development in Thailand's northern city of Chiang Mai. The new hotel will open in the fourth quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, work on the upcoming NH Collection Rayong Resort & Residences has begun. It is expected to open within the next two years.

"Our strategies will be for more joint investments with various funds and property owners, starting this year. We plan to expand our portfolio of hospitality management contracts and franchise opportunities under the Oaks, NH Hotel, and Avani brands," Rajakarier explained.

Minor expects collaboration with European NH brand to boost growth

The strategy is part of Minor Hotels' commitment to expanding NH Hotel Group's brands, with 10 new properties set to open in Asia and the Middle East in 2023 and 2024.

Aside from two NH Collection hotels in Thailand, China will add three NH Hotels and two NH Collection hotels, and the Middle East will see the brand make its debut with three NH Collection openings — two in Dubai and one in Doha.

Overall, the six new NH Collection properties and two NH Hotels are set to launch in 2023, plus one NH Hotel and one NH Collection in 2024, adding 2,643 keys to the Minor Hotels group.

"This is just the start and we continue to explore opportunities to further grow the footprint of NH Collection, NH and nhow in the Asia Pacific region, the Middle East, Africa and the Indian Ocean,” Rajakarier stated.


Sriya Yongsakul, director of Phuket Boat Lagoon, who made the decision to rebrand her hotel with the NH brand, explained that the joint investment helped raise the bar in terms of hotel quality while expanding the hotel's brand recognition, particularly in Europe and South America.

She praised Minor Hotels' management for helping NH Boat Lagoon Phuket Resort address its current urgent pain point, which is a labour shortage.

Jirath Pavaravadhana, the chairman of Osmo Properties Group, which is the owner of the NH Collection Chiang Mai Ping River and the NH Collection Rayong Resort & Residences, anticipated that the hotel would draw both domestic and foreign guests who would spend more money while staying longer.

(From left) MC, Dillip Rajakarier, Sriya Yongsakul and Jirath Pavaravadhana

Rajakarier expressed confidence in Thailand's tourism recovery, which will enable Minor Hotels to fully reopen and perform even better this year with the return of Chinese tourists, who account for 40% of all tourists.

He emphasised that Thailand is always a favoured tourist destination. The country is still ranked fourth in tourist spending.

Minor Hotels currently has more than 530 hotels in operation. Through Anantara, Avani, Oaks, Tivoli, M Collection, NH Collection, NH, nhow, Elewana, Marriott, Four Seasons, St. Regis, Radisson Blu and Minor International properties, Minor Hotels now operates in 56 countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Europe, South America and North America.