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Centara's new five-year plan includes new Sri Lanka hotels

The Centara hotel group has announced that it is expecting to expand its portfolio with the addition of new China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka hotels over the next five years placing a target of 10,000 rooms in total by 2013.

Centara's new five-year plan includes new Sri Lanka hotels

Centara, Thailand's largest hotel operator is looking to increase the number of properties in its collection over the next five years by owning, managing or operating a series of Malaysia, China, Indonesia and Sri Lanka hotels.

According to the chairman of Centara Hotels and Resorts, Suthikiati Chirathivat, many local and international hotel property owners were showing interest in the company's brand.

"The key success of Centara is location," he explained. "We have to find the best location in each area where we need to do business."

The hotel operator is expecting to increase its number of luxury hotels by 2013 and have set a target of 10,000 rooms in total, up from the current number of 7,500.

Centara will also be launching its new three-and-a-half-star brand, named Centra and focused on great value holidays, this month with the opening of the Centra Ashlee Hotel Patong in Phuket. The Centra Pattaya Resort, Centra Nova Hotel and Spa Pattaya, and Centra Sukhumvit 15 Hotel in Bangkok are expected to follow in 2012.

The company is also looking to acquire locations and properties for its two-star budget brand with a budget of 100 million baht for two properties in main location which will offer 150 rooms and an expected opening date in 2012 or 2013.

"Our investment will be spread in different ways to reduce the risk," Mr Suthikiati commented. "It depends on each location. In the next five years, we will expand our business to China, Sri Lanka, Bahrain, Indonesia, and Malaysia."

The addition of new Sri Lanka hotels will add to the company's international presence just as Sri Lanka celebrates record numbers in tourist arrivals after the end of the decades-long civil war.

Centara Hotels and Resorts could become the first hotel brand to provide the choice of both budget and luxury resorts in Sri Lanka, which will attract global travellers on all budgets.

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