INVESTMENT in Phuket’s hotel property sector is expected to exceed 10 billion Thai baht (US$315 million) for the first-time ever in 2012, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.
Mike Batchelor, managing director of Investment Sales at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, said: "Phuket saw record investment in the first half of 2012. The market looks on track to enter a renewed period of growth, as savvy international investors continue to secure landmark properties in Asia's premier resort destination.”
Since the start of the year, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels has managed the sales of three properties in Phuket, including the acquisition of the 368-room Movenpick Resort & Spa by Malaysia-based TA Global in April; the 260-room Evason Phuket & Bon Island at Rawai by Singapore-based Lum Chang in May; and the 254-room Laguna Beach Resort by Hawaii-based Outrigger Hotels & Resorts in July (TTG Asia e-Daily, July 24, 2012).
"With international passenger volumes surging 30 per cent in 2011, the island’s international appeal remains strong," said Batchelor.
"In fact, international visitors to Phuket exceeded domestic arrivals for the first time (in 2011). This growth has been fuelled by excellent air links and the expansion of low-cost carriers across the region."
Other factors driving growth to Phuket include a US$180 million airport upgrade slated to commence later this year – which will double existing capacity to 12.5 million passengers per annum, and the gradual return of international confidence in Thailand due to sustained political stability since the 2011 elections.
Further hotel investment activity is expected in the second half of 2012, with Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels due to launch a five-star asset on Phuket’s west coast this week, ahead of the peak travel season starting in November.