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Centara to Launch Budget Hotel Brand; Targets 30 Hotels by 2020

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Thailand-based Centara Hotels & Resorts has launched a new hotel brand, Cosi Hotels, designed for cost-conscious travellers who mostly do all their own bookings online and who are searching for pocket-friendly accommodation prices.

The first Cosi Hotel is projected to open in 2015 and Centara plans to have at least 30 operational by 2020.

Cosi Hotels will focus on clearly identified products that include free Wi-Fi everywhere in the hotel, easy and convenient grab-n-go restaurants, seminar rooms for corporate guests, and an entertainment corner in the lobby area for movies and live sport. Cosi will offer both twin and king beds for standard room types and specially designed rooms for families.

For the room rate, it depends on each location, said Suparat Uahwatanasakul, Vice President of Business Development at Centara International Management Co., Ltd. However, the average room rate will be approximately 1,000-1,250 Baht per night. Pricing strategy will be for dynamic pricing, which depends on booking periods and booking conditions.

Thirayuth Chirathivat, Chief Executive Officer of Centara Hotels & Resorts, said that the Cosi brand has been developed in response to rapid economic expansion within the Asia Pacific region, which is increasing the volume of both domestic and international journeys.

There is an enormous growth in travel, and the significant growth of low-cost airlines is allowing people to travel more easily and conveniently, he said. Travelling by low-cost airline in the ASEAN grouping currently accounts for 51% of the aviation industry in the ASEAN. Further, the ASEAN Economic Community or AEC will be implemented two years from now adding further demand. These factors are leading to the need for convenient accommodation and also value for money. Centara Hotels & Resorts sees a great opportunity to develop a new brand to cover this economic segment, and we are now in the process of brand and product development for Cosi Hotels. 

Construction costs of a Cosi hotel is expected to be around 1.5 million baht per room, and Centara is in the process of requesting construction permission for one hotel, a prototype hotel planned to open in 2015.

We plan 100% investment or a joint venture of one hotel a year and to further manage four hotels a year. We intend to expand through the significant destinations of Thailand then will further expand to ASEAN countries, China, Australia, and New Zealand, Suparat said.

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