BANGKOK, Thailand – Centara Hotels & Resorts has today launched a new hotel brand, COSI Hotels, designed for cost-conscious travelers 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.
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.
“Traveling by low-cost airline in the Asean grouping currently accounts for 51 percent 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.”
Mr. Thirayuth added that “dot com” has been added to the brand logo because marketing and sales will be primarily through websites.
“We expect our first COSI Hotels property to open in 2015,” he said. “We plan to have at least 30 hotels in 2020, which is forecast to generate an income of around 2,200 million baht and income from management fees of 180 million baht,” said Mr. Thirayuth.
Suparat Uahwatanasakul, Vice President of Business Development at Centara International Management Co., Ltd., explained the meaning of COSI as:
C is Comfortable – Feel comfortable both with the room and facilities of the hotel
O is Open – Our product is easy to understand and affordable
S is Sensible – Sensibly and friendly-priced and eco-friendly design
I is Individual – Welcome all travelers
A friendly logo is designed to carry this message. COSI customers can be divided into four groups as follows:
-Age 16-29: University students or graduate students who are just starting their career. Travels alone or in groups.
-Age 50 and above: Retired people. Couple travelers who like technology.
-Family groups who like easy and convenient journeys and value for money.
-Corporate groups who travel for business purposes and are looking for a more limited service and a friendly price.
“For the room rate, it depends on each location,” said Mr. Suparat, “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.
“Our marketing concept is ‘COSI LIFE’ where you feel comfortable and relaxed as an overall experience while staying at COSI, along with a friendly price and other facilities.”
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 sports. COSI will offer both twin and king beds for standard room types and specially-designed rooms for families.
“We expect the construction costs of a COSI hotel to be around 1.5 million baht per room,” said Suparat, “Our development plan is under the process of requesting construction permission for one hotel, which is our prototype hotel planned to open in 2015.
“We plan 100 percent investment or a joint venture of one hotel a year and to further manage 4 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.”
Centara Hotels & Resorts is Thailand’s leading operator of hotels, with 40 deluxe and first-class properties covering all the major tourist destinations in the Kingdom. A further 18 resorts in the Maldives, Vietnam, Bali Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Mauritius Indian Ocean, brings the present total to 58 properties. Brands and properties within Centara ensure that specific categories such as couples, families, individuals, and meetings and incentives groups will all find a hotel or resort that is appropriate to their needs.
Centara operates 25 branches of Spa Cenvaree, one of Thailand’s most luxurious and innovative spa brands, together with its newly-launched value brand Cense by Spa Cenvaree, which provides core spa services for busy travelers. The company’s Kids’ Club is available at all the family-friendly resorts to ensure that the youngsters and teens are taken care of. Centara Hotels & Resorts also operates 2 state-of-the-art convention centers in Bangkok, and 2 in northeastern Thailand, one being located in Udon Thani and the other in Khon Kaen.
Centara has completed research for the last 3 years before launching the COSI Hotels product.
PHOTO: Thirayuth Chirathivat (3rd from right), Chief Executive Officer of Centara Hotels & Resorts, leads the management team in launching the company’s sixth brand, COSI Hotels, at the press conference held on December 6, 2012 at M23, 23rd Floor, Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld. Shown from the left are: Tim Hallett, Brand Director of Cosi Hotels; Dr. Ronnachit Mahattanapreut, Senior Vice President for Finance & Administration of Centara Hotels & Resorts; Supatra Chirathivat, Senior Vice President-Corporate Affairs & Social Responsibilities of Centara Hotels & Resorts; Thirayuth Chirathivat; Suparat Chirathivat Uahwatanasakul, Vice President of Centara International Management; Chris Bailey, Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing of Centara Hotels & Resorts; and Thirakiati Chirathivat, Vice President – Procurement of Centara Hotels & Resorts