|By Chadamas Chinmaneevong, Bangkok Post,
ThailandMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Feb. 04, 2013--The Holiday Inn Resort Regent Cha-am has been renamed the Regent Cha-am, ending a five-year management contract with the InterContinental Hotels Group.
The Regent Group, owner of the 560-room hotel, decided to end its contract last month and opted to manage the 30-year-old property with its own team.
Piyaman Tejapaibul, managing director of the Regent Group, said the overall hotel situation in Phetchaburi's Cha-am district is changing significantly in terms of supply and demand.
European tourists used to be the hotel's key market, accounting for 60% of guests, but that proportion has been halved by the euro-zone crisis.
On the other hand, the number of Asian tourists has been rising enormously in line with the region's robust economic growth.
Foreign visitors, particularly Asians, are looking for quality and tailor-made services.
"A new trend is that hoteliers prefer management flexibility. International hotel chains have many conditions, so we need to change," said Ms Piyaman.
She is confident her hotel's revenue will increase by 10% to 300 million baht this year even though it is no longer a part of an international chain.
The Regent Group is spending 400 million baht to upgrade the hotel's facilities including 19 function rooms that will meet international standards for meetings, incentives and conventions.
More than 500 rooms that are still in good condition will not be renovated.
Key marketing and sales channels will be online and regular travel agents.
The hotel, which accepts direct bookings via its website, plans to have equal proportions of foreign and domestic guests.
Ms Piyaman said the incentives market in this region is growing, especially in China and Japan, and her connections with travel agents will help to draw guests.
The Regent Group also plans to build a condominium and a community mall or shop on 300 rai in Cha-am.
The first phase of the condominium will be under a joint venture with a big developer.
Ms Piyaman said the group is conducting a feasibility study into the community mall but wants to develop the area as a real destination for relaxation and holidays.
(c)2013 the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand)
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