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Centara Hotels & Resorts: Driving growth through strategic expansion and innovation

Centara Hotels & Resorts aims for global expansion, leveraging brand development, market diversification, and Thai hospitality to achieve top 100 hotel group status by 2027.

Dubai, UAE – During the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, Michael Henssler, Chief Operations Officer at Centara Hotels & Resorts, shed light on the company’s significant achievements and strategic expansion plans in an interview with TravelDailyNews Asia-Pacific.

Centara Hotels & Resorts, a prominent Thailand-based hospitality group under the Central Group, has demonstrated robust performance in recent years. The company saw remarkable success in 2023 and continues to thrive in 2024. Henssler attributes this growth to several key factors, including a strong domestic market in Thailand and an ambitious global expansion strategy.

“Our goal is to be among the top 100 hotel groups worldwide in terms of the number of hotel rooms operated by the end of 2027,” Henssler stated. This ambitious target necessitates a multifaceted approach encompassing brand development, market diversification, and varied business models.

Strategic Growth Platforms

Centara’s growth strategy involves three primary components:

  • Brand Expansion: Adding new brands and expanding existing ones, such as the Mirage brand, which focuses on family-oriented themed hotels.
  • Geographic Diversification: Entering new international markets while strengthening presence in current ones. Centara recently expanded to its 11th country, Laos, with the opening of COSI Vientiane.
  • Business Model Diversification: Exploring various ownership structures, including fully owned properties, managed contracts, joint ventures, and participations.

Currently, Centara operates 52 hotels across 11 countries, with approximately 40 more in the development pipeline. The company’s international ventures in destinations such as Dubai, Qatar, Maldives, and Japan are performing exceptionally well, exemplified by the successful launch of a new property in Osaka in July 2023.

European Market Prospects

While the immediate focus remains on markets like China, Japan, the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia, Centara has high aspirations for the European market. “Europe is high on our agenda,” Henssler noted, “particularly key cities like Paris, London, Berlin, Rome, and Milan.” Greece, in particular, is seen as a promising destination due to its rapid growth and alignment with Centara’s feeder markets.

Embodying Thai Hospitality

A critical element of Centara’s success is the unique “Thainess” they bring to their services. This includes a strong emphasis on food, spa experiences, and the famed Thai hospitality. “We ensure that our Thai DNA is ingrained in every aspect of our operations, especially in key positions such as front desk staff, food and beverage teams, and top management,” Henssler explained.

The Mirage Brand

The Mirage brand, known for its family-oriented theme and water park features, has been a significant driver of Centara’s success. The Centara Grand Mirage in Pattaya is a prime example, combining a five-star hotel with a themed water park and high-quality food and beverage offerings. Similar projects in Dubai and other international locations have shown impressive occupancy rates and guest satisfaction.

Sustainability Initiatives

Centara is committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, a goal deeply embedded in its operations. The company has been recognized for its sustainability efforts, including using solar power, eco-friendly construction materials, and rigorous recycling programs. “We are proud to be the first Thai company to achieve all our ESG goals through Bureau Veritas,” Henssler announced, highlighting the company’s dedication to sustainable development.

The Importance of Arabian Travel Market

Reflecting on the significance of the Arabian Travel Market, Henssler emphasized its role in Centara’s strategy. “It’s one of the most important feeder markets globally and a hub for development and innovation,” he said. Centara’s substantial presence at the event underscores its commitment to the region and its plans for future growth.

As Centara Hotels & Resorts continues to expand its footprint globally, its focus on innovative hospitality solutions, strategic market diversification, and unwavering commitment to sustainability positions it as a leader in the global hotel industry.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.