Centara keen on Middle East
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Thailand-based Centara Hotels & Resorts has some major expansion plans. The company has expressed keen intent in the possibility of expanding into the Middle East and gateway cities in Europe. Currently with 55 hotels and resorts in its portfolio, with a mixture of owned and managed properties, plans are being mapped to acquire more than 45 hotel and resort properties with the intention of reaching 100 in 2017.
Centara believes its ambitious target to be realistic, having four years ago set a target to have 50 properties within five years, a target that was exceeded with a year to spare. The company’s strategy is based on being ‘asset light’, the main focus being on acquiring more managed hotels. Centara is, however, also investing in some properties by building on owned land or through joint ventures, or by acquiring other good projects that fit into the company portfolio.
The growth strategy also covers the main tourism destinations and gateway cities in Asia, including member nations of the ASEAN Economic Community, which comes into being in 2015. The growth map includes major cities in the Indian Ocean region and possibly Oceania.
Centara’s focus has been on expanding its five-star and four-star brands, but recent advent of the Centra value brand, and the launch later this year of a new economy hotel brand aimed at the budget travel sector, is greatly broadening its range of options. The group also launched the Centara Boutique Collection brand and the Centara Residence brand last year, giving it even more options.
Aside from Thailand, Centara properties can now be found in the Maldives, Vietnam, the Philippines, Bali, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka.