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05.11.15 News THAILAND SALES


Onyx portfolio bucks trend


Chloe Cann


TOUGH ECONOMIC times have not struck Onyx’s bottom line, said Peter Henley, president and chief executive of the hospitality group.


He added that the Thailand-based hotel management group had confronted declining numbers in Thailand – one of its key markets – following the Bangkok bombing in August 2015 and the “disappearance” of the Russian market, due to the depreciation of the ruble. Although the group is down 10% on its


budget this year, its GOP (gross operating profit) increased by 15% year-on-year. And in Thailand, the group is


experiencing a boom, with a 36% increase in GOP compared to 2014. Henley singled out the Amari Don


Muang Airport Bangkok Hotel, the Ozo Chaweng Samui and the Amari Phuket as top performers in the brand’s portfolio. “It’s been a tough year this year and


Thailand has been a difficult market, but Amari Phuket [is performing] above our expectations,” he said, adding: “As is our Ozo Chaweng Samui [in Ko Samui].” “Our other top performer is Amari Don


Muang, which does fantastically well. It’s next to the new low-cost carrier airport and it’s permanently full.” In the wake of these strong numbers


the group is looking to expand further into the Middle East – where it currently has one property, the Amari Doha – and to launch in Australia. “The timing’s right now, especially with the Ozo product,” said Henley, who said the group was expecting to launch the brand in Australia within the next “couple of years”. “Growth is coming along at the speed


we want,” he added. Onyx has 40 open properties, plus 20 in the pipeline and a further 11 are in negotiation stages, said Henley. “We’ll probably [have] about 100 by


2020. And by 2023, 125 is the number we’re looking at.”


April Hutchinson


MAURITIUS’S TWO-YEAR moratorium on hotel development has been met with positive reaction, according to the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority’s new director, Kevin Ramkaloan. The government has called a halt on


new hotel projects being built on the island until 2017 in order to allow a more measured approach to growth. “The hope is that hoteliers will


FOLLOW THE LEADERS: G Adventures’ UK managing director Brian Young picked up the WTM World Travel Leaders Award for the UK from Daniel Pearce, TTG Media managing director, on Tuesday. Pictured with Young (second left) are other award- winners. From left: Dzmitry Aliferka, Bronevik.com; Arthur Frommer, Frommer Media; Louis Gosselin, WestJet, and Eloi Oliveira, founder of Flytour Group.


Ozo Chaweng Samui, Thailand 05.11.2015 13


Mauritius: 10% growth despite building ban


Overall, and in spite of the moratorium


on any new hotels, he said the MTPA would still hope to maintain 8-10% growth annually. France is still the number one market, followed by UK, but Ramkaloan said he would also be looking to activate new markets. “I’m from an economics background,


so of course when I joined MTPA I looked at the figures; I can see that nine countries give us 80% of our tourists, but there are many more countries in the world we could also be looking to grow interest. If we could expand that to 15, I would be happy with that. India and China we would certainly hope to attract more interest from.”


Mauritius has called a halt on new hotel projects until 2017


instead reinvest in existing product and we will be able now to work on matching the room stock we have on the island to the airlift we have,” said Ramkaloan. “And we are looking to expand airlift too, with Lufthansa starting flights in December and Turkish Airlines showing interest.” Mauritius is set to lodge a 10% growth


in arrivals for 2015, but Ramkaloan said the challenge was to sustain the growth and set out what the country had to offer away from the beach.


In the UK, the MTPA is planning a major 2016 campaign to showcase the destination in February and March and September and October. “We need to bring the diversity of


the island to the fore a lot more – for example, our Indian temples, world-class diving, safari experiences and the gastronomic offer on the island,” he said. Porlwi by Light will be a new festival


launching in Port Louis this year, December 4-6, with a lightshow in the capital and live entertainment and food stalls. Ramkaloan said the event was dedicated to “bringing life into our capital city and putting it back on the map”.


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