Thailand moves closer to becoming travel hub

WHILE property and hotel sectors as a whole looks quite sluggish since late last year, major players listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand pulled a few surprises announcing major investments in Bangkok area, shoring up confidence in the future of the Thai economy.

After the Bangkok Dusit Medical Services (BDMS), Thailand’s largest hospital operator under the brand Bangkok Hospital, announced it will spend 10.8 billion baht to buy Nai Lert Park hotel to develop it into a holistic services medical center with a 2-billion-baht investment, Dusit Thani this month made a move.

Dusit Thani, a hotel and property-development company, has partnered with Central Pattana (CPN) to develop a mixed-use project worth around 36.7 billion baht on land it leases in Bangkok from the Crown Property Bureau, which agreed to extend the lease for another 30 years and added an additional plot of almost 24 rai (about 3.8 hectares) to the original leasing agreement.

Chanin Donavanik, vice chairman of Dusit, said together with its partner CPN, the company would further elevate Dusit Thani Bangkok’s standing as one of the world’s renowned hotels and will build a landmark mixed-use real-estate development that features a hotel, residences, retail areas and office space, with a large green space, worth up to 36.7 billion baht.

It will be a new icon of Bangkok’s new era in the same way as the iconic Dusit Thani Bangkok made history 47 years ago to benefit both tourists and the general public.

Today the company specializes in hotel management and education and comprises an international portfolio of hotels and resorts operating under four brands: Dusit Thani, dusitD2, Dusit Princess and Dusit Devarana.  It just recently joined Samart group to opened Dusit D2 in Khao Yai, Nakhon Ratchasima, which is quite popular.

The company currently operates 29 properties worldwide and has 45 confirmed projects in the pipeline worldwide.

Meanwhile Central Group announced recently it has just won the bid to buy 23-rai of land on the Wireless road owned by the British Embassy for a record-breaking price of over 20 billion baht.

The price works out to 2.2 million baht per square yard, the highest rate ever in Thai real estate trading.

The investment by leading firms in both property and hotel sectors seems to be made in line with the major government’s move, so far, to provide necessary infrastructure for the tourism industry.

The government under Gen Prayut Chan-Ocha has laid out quite a concrete plan to invest in both rail and airport infrastructure in the next ten years to make sure Thailand becomes the regional travel and tourism hub.

U-Tapao airport expansion is among the plan. After almost 40 years as a quasi-civilian airport run by the navy, it is to become a major aviation hub as well as aircraft maintenance center. Thailand envisages a six-fold increase in civilian traffic by 2020 for the US-built airfield in Rayong province. The current arrivals of 120,000 per year will zoom towards one million with an eventual target of three million.

The good news is that the government is also set to offer even more convenience to air travellers by starting work on a new rail system with an ambitious plan to link together the Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-Tapao airports.  The present Airport Rail Link from Suvanabhumi to Bangkok built almost a decade ago never linked airports.


Top: The splendid Chao Phraya River on a sunny day. Photo: Ben Reeves (CC-BY2.0)


By Kowit Sanandang.




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