Accor and Thailand’s Erawan Group PLC have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a network of up to 10 Ibis economy hotels in six major destinations including Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Koh Samui, Chiang Mai and Krabi.
As per the agreement 6 Ibis hotels will be opened by 2008 and up to a further 4 hotels by 2010. Each property will have around 200-250 rooms and will cost between US$7.8 to US$10.4 million.
The move is intended to tap a forecasted surge in budget and business travel to Thailand.
Accor already has 23 hotels in Thailand, with 13 more scheduled for opening in the next two years (not including the new Erawan alliance hotels).
Mr Kasama Punyagupta, Chief Executive Officer of Erawan, said: ‘The economy segment in Thailand represents a large and untapped market for international brands. Accor is the ideal partner to develop this market with us - and Ibis the appropriate brand.
“Standard quality, simplicity and value-for-money will be the main characteristics of the new properties. The starting rate will be less than US$30 per night.’
According to Accor Asia Pacific Managing Director Michael Issenberg, This announcement comes at a time when Ibis is experiencing its fastest-ever expansion in the Asia Pacific region. “We launched Ibis in Bangkok earlier this year, the brand is rapidly expanding in Korea and Indonesia. In China we will open our third hotel, Ibis Qingdao, next month with plans for 10 a year by 2007, and in India there are plans for a network of over 20 Ibis hotels around the country”. Mr Issenberg, said.