|By Chadamas Chinmaneevong, Bangkok Post,
ThailandMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Feb. 20, 2012--Hilton Worldwide has signed a contract to open its first DoubleTree property in Thailand and is now working to expand the mid-range brand further in the country.
"We are negotiating with many property owners for DoubleTree,"said Thomas Hoeborn, Hilton's regional general manager for Thailand.
In the first deal, Hilton signed a management contract with TCC Land to operate a DoubleTree in Bangkok's Sukhumvit Road area.
DoubleTree by Hilton has been one of the fastest-growing mid-range hotel brands over the past decade.
Its portfolio has expanded by more than 40% since 2000.
The company now has more than 250 hotels with 65,000 rooms in nearly 20 countries.
Mr Hoeborn said the average room rate at DoubleTree will start at about 3,000 baht a night, 25-30% lower than the Hilton rate.
The chain will also open a new Hilton-brand hotel in Thailand _ the Hilton Bangkok Sukhumvit.
The property will be owned by TCC Land.
Mr Hoeborn said the two new hotels in the Sukhumvit area will be convenient for leisure and meeting guests.
About 50-60% of the these properties' revenue will come from food and beverage sales and the rest from guest rooms.
While the Thai hospitality industry has been facing some difficulties due to political instability and last year's heavy flooding, it will likely pick up in the coming months, said Mr Hoeborn.
He said the Millennium Hilton Bangkok's meeting and incentive business is growing.
Revenue from this activity will account for half the hotel's revenue this year, up from 40% last year.
In general, hotels along the Chao Phraya River remain popular with Europeans, while the Sukhumvit area is the focus for short-haul regional guests.
Mr Hoeborn said the Millennium Hilton Bangkok has redone 17 rooms to serve guests from Japan and South Korea.
These rooms are 43-48 square metres in size and come equipped with high-tech gadgets.
(c)2012 the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand)
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