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Pattaya Daily News

08 August 2006 :: 19:08:46 pm 21080

Pattaya Hotels Targetted By Singaporean Investors

Three-star and four-star beach front hotels are now the acquisition targets of Singaporean investors.Huge financial sums have already been transferred by speculators anticipating a surge in Pattaya tourism following the opening of the new Suvanaphumi Airport.
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      Hotel operators have revealed there are few controls over these acquisitions, carried out in an environment of free trade conditions. Local owners are choosing to sell with an eye on near-term profits, rather than continue to manage the businesses themselves.

       According to local sources, three- and four-star hotels in Wong Amat and Jomtien have been bought by a number of investor groups from Singapore.  Even the Montien Hotel Pattaya, in the same hands for 20 years, has received an offer at 1.8 Billion Baht for it‘s 18-rai establishment. The Central Group has received an offer of several hundred million Baht for the Regent Marina Hotel, by a group of Singaporean investors planning to redevelop the business to a five-star classification. Isawan Resort & Spa, formerly Garden Beach Resort, attracted a bid for 800 million Baht by the Pioneer Hospitality Siam (JBR) Co. Ltd., a Thai & Hong Kong development group.

       Mr. Suwat Praepiromrat, president of the Pattaya Hotels Association, confirmed the news of a group of Singapore-based investors buying three- and four-star hotels located near the sea-front. Large profits are the motive of present owners and shareholders as hotel businesses change hands.

       Hotels going out of business, in debt to financial institutions or those simply not managed effectively are the typical targets of overseas investors. Renovations and upgrades to four-star and five-star accommodation are on the cards, as the news owners look to exploit an expected flood of tourists into Pattaya after the opening of Suvanaphumi Airport, located on the eastern side of Bangkok and convenient for the highway south to Pattaya and the eastern seaboard.

       Mr. Suwat said also that the strength of the Singpore dollar compared to the Thai baht makes prices highly attractive for this group, who see Thailand and especially Pattaya as a sound investment target. Once renovated and developed to a certain level, hotel businesses can be sold on to new investors for a sizeable profit.

       Mr. Suwat went on to say that private businessmen and the public sector such as Pattaya tourism-related departments might have seen the activities of these investors, but none had spoken out on the subject. There is no preventive movement as the acquisitions are considered within the scope of commercial freedom – business owners have full rights to sell their business if they determine that to be more profitable than continued operation.

       In comparison to three-star hotels sought after for redevelopment, most four- and five-star hotels – such as the Dusit Resort, Royal Cliff Beach Resort, and the Sunshine Group – have strong management and are well-funded. It is much less likely that these hotels will change hands to foreign investors.

       It is not only hotels that are the targets of these investors, some of whom are seeking to acquire a Central Pattaya condominium. Under the name ‘North Shore‘, it is planned to develop an exclusive condo valued at thousands of million Baht.

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Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : Property

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