WTM 2013: Thai hotel brand OZO to expand into Asia tourist hotspots

WTM 2013: Thai hotel brand OZO to expand into Asia tourist hotspots

Thai hotel brand OZO is setting out to capture more of the leisure market with new openings in tourist hotspots, it was revealed at World Travel Market.

The budget hotel chain, part of Onyx Hospitality Group, opened its first property in Hong Kong in May, but its next slew of new openings will move the brand firmly into the holiday sphere.

Six properties will open their doors under the management of the OZO brand over the next two years: in Koh Samui and Pattaya inThailand, Sri Lankan capital Colombo in 2014, followed by Kandy and Galle also in Sri Lanka, and Penang on Malaysia’s west coast.

Debrah Pascoe, senior vice-president, sales and marketing, said: “We are on a path of growth. Our first OZO opened in Hong Kong this year at the end of May, and we are very happy with the response from the market, which leads us into the next two – Samui and Colombo – which open in the first quarter of 2014. Then towards the end of the year, we will have another in Kandy and Pattaya.”

The brand markets itself as ‘mid-range’, dispensing with extras such as minibars, a concierge service or wide selection of restaurants, in favour of well-executed essentials including comfortable beds, ‘grab and go’ restaurants, and central locations.

Pascoe added: “The whole brand concept appeals to a certain market; there is a definite demand for that type of property. It’s for the traveller who’s on the go; it’s the hotel for the traveller who’s exploring during the day to have a great night’s sleep.

“The location determines the type of traveller we have. Hong Kong is strong for business travel and leisure weekend travel. In Pattaya, it’s predominantly leisure, and in Samui it’s all leisure. We were trying to have product in a location that has a more diverse market mix. To have a hotel that appeals purely to the corporate market is very limiting, but this brand can adapt.”

Classic holiday facilities have been added to the new properties to attract leisure travellers, such as an adult pool and children’s pool at the Samui property, and a rooftop swimming pool and fitness centre in Pattaya.

The hotel group is negotiating contracts with several major UK tour operators to feature the properties in next year’s Asia brochures.

Sister brand Amari will also be expanding further outside its native Thailand, with resort-style properties opening in Guangdong and Yunnan, China, and urban hotels in Malaysia and Bangladesh.


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