Graceland Expand Patong Hotel And Develop Khao Lak Resort
Patong's 460 room Graceland Hotel is undergoing a 150 room expansion which is scheduled to complete in February 2012.
The owner of the property is also in the midst of developing a new 350 key resort in Khao Lak which will open by the end of next year.
A deal has been struck with a Thomas Cook subsidiary for branding under the name Sentido Graceland Khaolak Resort and Spa.
Sentido Hotels and Resorts has 33 hotels & resorts with locations including Egypt, Tunisia, Kenya, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.
Clearly the move is meant to utilize Thomas Cook Plc with their considerable presence as Europe and the UK's second largest travel company after TUI, to tap the booming charter flight pipeline.
In many ways Greater Phuket is seeing a retro movement back a few decades when group tourism was the dynamic driver of volume based business.
Moves like the Graceland affiliation and a growing number of hotels seeing links to Pegas Touristik look to strongly leverage hotels into vertically integrated travel companies.
Welcome to the world of cycles or shall we say recycle.
One potential downside though is a potential over reliance on mono markets and the lack of risk mitigating segmentation which create volatility when key markets slip.
The second danger is that charter flights remain highly seasonal and create a feast or famine business model, that ultimately focus on lower yielding group business.