“We are seeking to build a comprehensive lifestyle real estate group, and our focus is on Thailand,” the 47-year-old Wallapa said in a rare video call interview in his Bangkok office. “This is a strategy to prepare AWC for future growth.” Prior to the pandemic, these hotels generated 60% of the company’s revenue, including seven properties of the Imperial Hotel Group purchased by Charoen in 1994, and Marriott in Bangkok Marquis Park, Athena Hotel and Okura Prestige Hotel.
Wallapa expects the hotel industry to remain the main growth driver and announced in October last year that AWC plans to build four new hotels, operated by Marriott International, including the Ritz-Carlton Reserve and Thailand’s first Autograph Collection hotel.
“They are one of the giants in the [Thailand] industry,” said Nikhom Jensiriratanakorn, director of Horwath HTL, a hotel consulting firm in Bangkok. “They are expanding, strategically using their scale and all their capital.” In a report in May,
predicted that Bangkok will lead the rebound in Thailand’s hotel industry, starting in the second half of 2022 in a V-shaped recovery. Phuket will follow suit in 2023, once travel restrictions are completely lifted, and reciprocal travel agreements will be reached with major markets such as China, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
Banyan Tree Krabi
BANYAN TREE KRABI
Wallapa is the second of five children. She accompanies her parents during the holidays when she grew up in Thailand. These holidays inevitably focused on visiting family businesses, which at the time mainly included breweries and breweries Factory (Beverage Charoen Thai is the manufacturer of the popular Chang beer).
She recalled that her father bought the property without an imminent development plan, thus creating a huge land bank, which Wallapa would work with in a few decades. Among them is the excellent sea view location where Banyan Tree Krabi opened in October.
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Silpakorn University in Bangkok, Wallapa went to the UK to obtain a master’s degree in regional and urban planning from the London School of Economics, and then a master’s degree in land economics from Cambridge University. He began his career as a financial analyst at Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong in 1999 and married his high school lover Soammaphat Traisorat the following year.
Joined his father’s diversified TCC group in 2001, concentrating on his real estate-related businesses, and these selected businesses concentrated in 2018 to establish AWC. Traisorats have five children. Soammaphat is the CEO of the former TCC joint venture. CapitaLand in Singapore is a director of the board of directors of AWC.
“This is an interesting change,” said Bill Barnett, managing director of Thai hotel consultancy C9 Hotelworks, noting that Wallapa is highly regarded for its professional team and focuses on working with select partners.
“She built a solid relationship. This is a clear strategy, “he said.
is different from some large hotel owners in Thailand that have established their own hotel brands in the country and expanded abroad (such as Italthai Group’s Onyx and Amari Hotels and Central’s Centara Group). The sole objective is to operate its properties in Thailand through recognized regional and global hotel chains. “This is more like a large international hotel investment company,” said Nikhom of Horwath HTL. “AWC is trying to create an ecosystem where everyone can benefit.
Wallapa, CEO of Asset World Corp., said Hotel Arm is expected to experience only a short-term viral shock.
4 Wallapa Traisorat, CEO of Asset World Corp. Focus on the development of hotels, shopping centers and office buildings in Thailand and other regions. ANDRE MALERBA / BLOOMBERG
Following the recent agreements with Marriott and Hyatt Hotels, Wallapa is planning to develop new projects in cooperation with Singapore’s Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts. Although Banyan Tree has its own Thai resort, it operates AWC properties in Krabi and Koh Samui.
“The asset world has undergone a tremendous transformation,” said He Quanping, the founder and CEO of Banyan Tree, who has known his family for decades. “They want to be famous, not by guests, but by the investment community.”
After finishing AWC’s hotel department and renovating most of its retail properties, Wallapa focused on three high-value urban redevelopment projects: Bangkok Chinatown The 16.5 billion baht mixed-use development project, the 8.1 billion baht reimagined Pattaya’s gambling project, and the 5.8 billion baht expansion of its large open-air shopping mall called Asiatique The Riverfront in Bangkok.
Bangkok’s colorful Chinatown dates back to the 18th century. It has long been a tourist destination, and locals frequent the street food here. However, it lacks adequate parking spaces, subway lines and tourist infrastructure, making it one of the most crowded areas in the city. Wallapa plans to change this situation by developing an intercontinental hotel and a “very chic” Chinese boutique hotel, opening shops in restored historic buildings, Bangkok’s largest underground mall, parking and storage facilities, and festival markets.
Woeng Nakhon Kasem
Woeng Nakhon Kasem’s artist rendering. This is an AWC urban development project built in the colorful Chinatown of Bangkok in the 18th century. Provided by Asset World.
Although this project, named Woeng Nakhon Kasem after a traditional Chinese market that once existed, has been criticized for over-commercialization, Wallapa said: “We believe we can enrich the community and enhance the culture and history of Bangkok’s origin. This project will become a flagship. , And became the center of Chinatown. ”
Pattaya, a playground for the US military during the Vietnam War, had a notorious transformation of a dirty sex tourism destination, and seemed to be an adventurous gamble. But Valapa did not think otherwise. He said that he thought he planned to build a new international airport in 2023, as well as the planned railway line connecting the two airports of Pattaya and Bangkok, and a monorail that would run next to the AWC center. railway. They can turn it into a global resort like Phuket.
“Pattaya has a lot of image problems,” said Jeremy O’Sullivan, research director at Savills, a Thai real estate consulting firm. “But they are one of the only companies that can do anything. Like this