By The Nation
Part of the Central Group, the renowned Thai conglomerate, Centara is an award-winning international hotel group with a global collection of hotels and resorts in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Laos and Vietnan, the Middle East, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. It operates a series of leading brands, including six distinct hotel concepts, SPA Cenvaree, the Thai wellness brand, and COAST, the beachfront F&B concept.
The group already has an intuitive knowledge of the Vietnamese market: Centara Sandy Beach Resort Danang is a popular upscale beachfront resort on the country's stunning central coast, and Central Group operates a range of top retail brands all across Vietnam, including GO! (formerly Big C Vietnam), LanChi Mart, B2S, Robins, SuperSports, Home Mart and Nguyen Kim.
Building on this long-term success, Centara is now pursuing a major nationwide growth strategy, with the target of opening at least 20 new hotels and resorts across Vietnam by 2024. Targeted destinations include key economic hubs such as Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Haiphong, and other high-growth areas like Danang, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Cam Ranh and Hoi An. There is also strong potential in the southern coastal areas of Vung Tau, Ho Tram and Mui Ne, due to new road infrastructure connecting the region with HCMC and the development of a major new airport in nearby Dong Nai province.
Centara foresees opportunities for all six of its brands in Vietnam, which include Centara Grand, Centara, Centara Residences & Suites, Centara Boutique Collection, Centra by Centara and its latest concept, COSI, which caters to freedom loving and tech-savvy travellers.
Thirayuth Chirathivat, CEO, Centara Hotels & Resorts said that Vietnam's tourism industry enjoyed a great year in 2018 and the company expects this to continue for many years to come. Boosted by booming intra-Asian travel, more relaxed visa policies and impressive improvements to transport infrastructure, the country is already well on track towards another record-breaking tourism year in 2019. With its collection of hotel concepts, global hospitality expertise and local market experience, the company is well placed to achieve the targets in Vietnam.
International visitor arrivals to Vietnam reached a record total of 15.5 million in 2018, the majority of which came from Asia, where the Centara brand is well known and respected. This upward surge is continuing in 2019: Data from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) show that almost six million overseas travellers visited the country in the first four months of this year, and a buoyant economy is boosting domestic tourism.
Positive tourism trends are driving demand for new hotels and resorts. Recent data from industry analysts STR shows that more than 23,000 new hotel rooms are currently being constructed in Vietnam – a reflection of the continued rise of the country as a global tourism hotspot. This creates opportunities for Centara, which has a proven track record of operational success and strong partnerships in the country.
Centara's focus on Vietnam will form an important part of its global strategic vision, which includes the overall goal of doubling its total hotel portfolio by 2022. At present, the company has 71 hotels and resorts either operating or in the pipeline worldwide, comprising more than 13,000 rooms.
For 30 years, Centara has developed a reputation for blending gracious, Thai-style hospitality with world-class accommodation and exceptional amenities. Now, with an expanded collection of innovative brands, Centara is aiming to build on this legacy by introducing new hotels and resorts all across Vietnam.