Hotelintel.co had the pleasure of meeting with the President of KATA Group Pramookpisitt Achariyachai to discuss their expansion plans, the challenges hotels face running their business in this kind of competitive market and the benefits hotels and resorts in Phuket have received as a result of this unusual political climate.
Pramookpisitt is currently working on his new project ‘The Upmarket Beyond Resort’, which is a mixed use property where the ground floor will be developed as a shopping mall with brand name retail stores, with the upper levels being operated as a hotel. This new project will be located in Patong, Phuket.
Pramookpisitt explains the reason why he is moving into the city instead of away from the city that ‘tourism patterns have changed. Westerners want to go away from the city and are seeking more privacy.This market growth is also conservative and has only grown up 1 or 2% each year. On the other hand, the Chinese speaking market (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia) is growing rapidly. These markets want to go shopping, experience the Phuket nightlife and entertainment venues and have everything possible at their convenience. That’s why we think Patong is a good spot’.
KATA Group accomodates different kind of guests in each of their properties. Beyond Resort Krabi is offering the most natural environment. Beyond Resort Khao Lak is a couples-only resort and is perfect for a romantic getaway. Beyond Resort Karon is the only resort on Phuket’s grandest beach where you will find peace, privacy, and the pristine crystal clear Andaman sea.
When asked whether or not he looked to build beyond the Andaman, Pramookpisit said ‘I believe that there can be more development for Andaman. It can still grow and it is a good investment if you can get it right and meet the guests needs.’
From only a handful of small rental unit, KATA Group is now one of the most rapidly expanding brands in the region and there is no sign of their growth slowing down.
Pramookpisit believes that the ‘secret of KATA’s success’ most likely lays in providing ‘consistency of the service – service is everything’. Being in such a competitive market as Phuket is a challenge for everyone in the business. The political climate over the past few years hasn’t helped and as Thailand has been riding a political roller coaster I asked Pramookpisit whether their were any things in particular that have proved more challenging than others as a result of Thailand’s political instability.
He responded ‘Phuket has changed under military-rule, we finally got the beaches back – no more umbrellas and food vendors. Everything seems to be more organized and finally someone is taking action making changes for the better’