News for the Hospitality Executive
|By Boonsong Kositchotethana, Bangkok Post, Thailand
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Nov. 5, 2003 - Hong Kong-based Pioneer Global Group has bought the four-star Garden Beach Resort in Pattaya, a distressed asset in late 1990s, from the Orchid Fund group for 870 million baht.
The deal was seen by property analysts as one of the many transactions involving foreign acquisitions of hotel and resort properties in Thailand likely to take place over the next 12 months.
Kenneth Gaw, managing director of Pioneer Global Group, said the acquisition of the Garden Beach Resort reflects the firm's optimism of continued growth of the tourism market in Pattaya as well as Thailand as a whole.
The freehold property, located on Wong-Amart beach, has 382 guestrooms, three restaurants, two bars, conference facilities, two pools and retail outlets.
The current management of the hotel and the 340 employees will continue to work at the property under the new ownership, said Sophon Vongchatchainont, general manager of the Garden Beach Resort.
There would be no change in the name of the hotel nor would it be run by an international hotel chain, he added.
However, the Garden Beach Resort, now recording an occupancy rate of more than 80 percent, has planned some improvements on the property including upgrading the conference facilities, adding a spa and doing some landscaping work.
The hotel had also spent more than 100 million baht on renovations over the past three years, enabling an upgrade in its rating to four stars from three stars, said Mr Sophon.
Craig Collins, senior vice-president of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, the hotel investment group that negotiated the transaction, said the investment market in Thailand was currently very strong.
"I am confident we will see many more transactions involving the inflow of international capital for hotel and resort properties in Thailand over the next 12 months. International investors see Thailand as a country of great beauty, a growing economy and increasing visitor arrivals," he said.
Mr Collins noted there was significant interest in the Garden Beach Resort Pattaya from Thai and regional investors as well as from prospective international buyers.
"These investors were attracted by the potential of Pattaya as a tourism destination, particularly with the opening of the new Suvarnabhumi International Airport in 2005, which will reduce travel time from the airport to approximately 45 minutes," he said.
"The completion of the Garden Beach Resort sale is the third transaction completed by Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels since June of this year, a further sign of investor confidence in the Thai hotel market."
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(c) 2003, Bangkok Post, Thailand. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.