The Hilton Hotels and Resorts group is pushing into Southeast Asia region, with the company seeing the region as a key market for growth, which means that people will be seeing Hilton properties across Thailand, Vietnam, and the surrounding countries, with a new hotel in Sukhumvit very much likely.
Paul Hutton, Hilton’s Vice President of Operations, says that the company sees the emerging market in the region, brought about by rising urbanisation and growth of the travel-keen middle class of the region. He says that, the huge potential for growth and the abundance of opportunities in the region, is why the company has been moving to establish more of its brands and develop more properties in the region.
Back in 2017, the first Canopy brand hotel, which they managed to seal in a landmark portfolio deal, which includes six new Sri Lanka hotels and four in Vietnam.
Hutton says that the Hilton hotels want to continue where their guests want to be, in order to meet lodging and accommodation needs, whether for leisure or business. He says that, for the most part, markets in the region, like Myanmar and Vietnam, still have an under-supply of hotels and rooms, which the company sees as opportunities to bring in their brands, in particular, bringing new brands into the region to attract different travel segments.
He gives an example, with Thailand, which he says is a key market of growth for Hilton and will stay that way in the future, if the forecasts are any indication, with a 6% increase in tourism numbers expected in 2018, following the record setting 35.38M arrivals back in 2017, which amounts to about half of Thailand’s population.
Hutton says that, with Thailand being so ripe for opportunity, the company is excited to launch the ultra-luxury brand Waldorf Astoria in the nation’s capital sometime in the third quarter of 2018, which is, oddly, not a new hotel in Sukhumvit, but located near Dinosaur Planet.
Other key markets for Hilton are the Maldives, which is also expecting another Waldorf Astoria brand hotel; the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi Resort, set to open early 2019. Currently, Hutton says, the company has 2,257 hotels under development across the world, with 415 of them located in the Asia-Pacific Region.