This developing storyline is reflected in data from consulting group C9 Hotelworks new Thailand Hotel Management Company Overview, with Thai HMCs currently operating 643 hotels across the country, with a total inventory of 77, 654 keys, Mr Barnett notes.
“To understand the latest proliferation of brands and chains, there are now 83 groups represented across 41 provinces,” he said.
Taking view of the Top 5 chains which control 28 per cent of Thai HMC room inventory, Centara Hotels & Resorts head the list, followed by Onyx Hospitality, Dusit International, Imperial Hotels and Resorts and Minor Hotels Group.
Commenting on the evolution of Thai hotel brands, Mr Barnett explained, “As a by-product of Thailand’s first tourism boom in the 1980s and 90s, 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,” he says.
“While C9s report has pinpointed the Top 50 Thai HMCs, going deeper into the research one exciting area of development is in upscale lifestyle- oriented boutique hotels brands. The Sala group who now operate six properties in various destinations with over 200 rooms is rapidly becoming a prominent brand attracting international recognition,” he adds.
Summarizing the movement in Thailand’s tourism sector, Mr Barnett points out, “Given the high number of Thai HMCs, it’s likely that consolidation 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. But for now, the good news is that Thai hospitality entrepreneurship is elevating Brand Thailand both at home and abroad,” he notes.
For the full C9 Hotelworks report, click here.