Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Springfield expecting 5% growth from local focus

The Springfield Group, a local hotel and golf course developer, expects its revenue to grow by 5% next year from an anticipated 300 million baht this year as it continues to target Thai guests.

Managing director Sumet Indamra said the 5% growth projection would be achieved - despite world recession and local political instability - if the situation did not worsen. Expanding the local market is expected to be a key revenue driver.

The group believes Hun Hin and Cha-am, where its properties are located, are still top destinations for Thai families, which makes them better-placed than other resorts or even Bangkok, which mainly rely on international guests.

"We are conservative. We don't want to see a jump in growth if the market is not stable enough," said Mr Sumet.

Yesterday, the group officially launched its new hotel Springfield @ Sea Resort & Spa, built on a 10-rai plot in Cha-am with an investment of 650 million baht.

The boutique hotel has 105 rooms, priced between 7,000 and 50,000 baht per night, aimed at local and international tourists in a 50:50 ratio.

Sorathep Rojpotjanaruch, the group's director of sale and marketing, said the hotel's key markets will be young couples and first jobbers.

"It's not the best time to open the new hotel amid many negative factors but it has been set in our plan. Focusing on local markets is the right strategy for us and we started it last year," he said.

Since its soft opening in November the hotel has had a 40% average occupancy rate while other nearby hotels run at around 20-30%. Around 80% of guests have been Thai and the hotel has focused on meeting and incentive business, particularly from the government.

"We see a lot of potential in this group because they have kept their budget for training and seminars even though the economy is poor," he said.

The group will also link with wholesale agents and business partners such as credit cards to promote the hotel.

In Cha-am the group also operates Springfield Beach Resort, Springfield Village Golf & Spa and Spring Royal Country Club.

Mr Sorathep said the average occupancy for all its properties in the festive season would be around 40%, down from 70% last year. Golf course reservation would be 60%, down from 100%.

The group still has around 700 rai of land in Cha-am left for additional development when the situation improves.

In Bangkok, the company has postponed a 60-room boutique hotel project in the Si Phraya area. But it hopes to revive the plan in 2010 when conditions are expected to have improved.

The Springfield Group is a subsidiary of the Thaniya Group, which is involved in property development including office building, shopping complexes, condominiums, apartments and golf courses.

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