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Thai hospitality group Onyx eyes domestic and international expansion despite recent political upheaval

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Thai hotel management firm Onyx Hospitality Group has plans to expand its footprint by operating 15 more hotels domestically and overseas over the next few years, in the wake of Thailand’s 2014 post-political coup.

In the wake of Thailand’s 2014 post-political coup, Suvarut Thongthaem, vice president for development and owner relations in southeast Asia for Onyx told national business news site nationmultimedia.“Our strengths are that we are well established and have had a lot of experience. Although we have faced many crises, we have stayed in business.”

Martial law was declared nationwide by the Royal Thai Army on 20 May this year after months of protests by civilians seeking political reform but the army insisted the move – made without the caretaker government’s approval – was not a coup d'état. Two days later a formal coup took place and the army set up a junta called National Peace and Order Maintaining Council to govern the country.

Thongthaem predicted that the Thailand might not achieve its target of 28m international arrivals this year because of a slowdown from long-haul markets such as North America and Europe. He also mentioned that while new bookings at hotels in beach destinations such as Phuket, Krabi and Samui are returning – after the political controversy brought about a period of decline – hotels in Bangkok may take a longer time to recover.

Thongthaem also said that to continue expanding amid crises, the group focuses on human resources issues – having provided training to 6,000 people in preparation for future growth.

Onyx’s core spa businesses are set to open alongside the upcoming hotels under the group’s spa brand names Maai Spa and Breeze Spa.

The planned 15 hotels will comprise offerings from the following brands: six Amari, three Shama, four OZO and two in The Mosaic Collection.

This year Onyx will take over operation of Amari Dhaka in Bangladesh and OZO Pattaya in Thailand. In 2015 it will operate Amari Residences Jomtien in Pattaya, Amari Johor Bahru in Malaysia, Amari Dali in China, OZO Penang in Malaysia, OZO Kandi and OZO Galle in Sri Lanka, Shama Bejing and Shama Chengdu in China, Pattaya Bay Resort and Nova Residence Pattaya.

To further its international expansion in coming years, the group has plans to establish more representative offices in countries such as China, Britain, Australia and Germany. It already has offices in mainland China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UAE.

The hospitality company currently operates 37 hotels with a total of 5,990 rooms in Thailand and four other countries including Sri Lanka, the UAE, Qatar and China. The group also has plans to increase its total property portfolio to 81 by 2018.

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Thai hotel management firm Onyx Hospitality Group has plans to expand its worldwide footprint by opening 15 more hotels domestically and overseas over the next several years.

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