Best Western betting on Thailand with eight new hotels
Best Western is looking east. The U.S.-based global hospitality group will open eight new hotels in Thailand this year to capitalize on the Kingdom’s resurgent tourism, and as part of its expansion across the Asia-Pacific region, a top-ranking executive said last week.
Best Western Hotels (BWH) operates 16 properties in Thailand under three brands: one World Hotels Collection hotel, 13 Best Western Hotels and Resorts properties, and two Sure Stay Hotels. The new ventures represent a 50 percent increase in BWH’s Thai portfolio.
They include properties in Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Hua Hin, basically all the major tourism centers in the Kingdom. Koh Samui and Koh Phi Phi are also under consideration as new locations, the company said.
Olivier Berrivin, Vice President of International Operations Asia-Pacific at BWH Hotel Group, said that Thailand’s recovery from the pandemic has been strong and is getting stronger. He added that the return of tourists from China will push arrival numbers higher this year.
Thailand has been a global tourism success story for decades and the sector accounts for at least 10 percent of the Kingdom’s gross domestic product. As travel and tourism have been recovering worldwide, several travel and accommodation websites have reported that the Kingdom is one of the most searched-for destinations.
Although Thailand has not yet reached its pre-pandemic number of annual arrivals, the occupancy levels at BWH’s Thai hotels and resorts are now the same as in 2019, the year before the COVID-19 virus erupted across the world leading to travel restrictions in many countries.
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