SET-listed Sansiri Plc is set to expand its Escape Hotel chain domestically over the next 3-5 years after entering the hospitality business four years ago.

Chief operating officer Uthai Uthaisangsuk said the company is targeting three major tourist destinations — Chiang Mai, Phuket and Chon Buri (Pattaya) — to open Escape Hotels.

The move is part of Sansiri’s plans to develop hotels and other real estate projects across the country.

“Having hotels at new projects will help strengthen Sansiri’s reputation as many of our real estate clients love receiving standard hotel services,” Mr Uthai said. “Moreover, tourism in Thailand will continue to grow, especially in 2018, after booming exports and growing GDP.”

Sansiri now operates two Escape Hotels, one in Hua Hin and another in Khao Yai, with 108 rooms combined. The company entered the hotel business four years ago and has invested 700 million baht in the two properties.

Mr Uthai said Escape Hua Hin has average daily room rates of 2,500 baht, with an average occupancy rate of 55%. The chain is expected to account for 40% (40 million baht) of the developer’s hotel business this year.

Escape Khao Yai, with the same room rate, has occupancy rates of 65-70% and is set to contribute 60 million baht in 2017, thanks to its meeting and conference room space.

In the coming year, Sansiri plans to invest 10-15 million baht to add two pool villas at Escape Khao Yai.

The company expects total revenue from its hotel business to grow by 10% to 110 million baht next year.

“We are expecting to end 2017 with 100 million baht in net income. As of now, our average occupancy rate [for both hotels] is above target and should reach 70% during the holiday season,” Mr Uthai said. “While domestic tourism from the first to the third quarter was not really active, bookings have really picked up during the fourth quarter.”

Local tourists are still Sansiri’s main target for both hotels, but it will be placing more emphasis abroad, especially in Asian markets such as China, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and South Korea, through the company’s collaboration with online travel agents and online payment systems such as Alipay and WeChat Pay.

Online influencer engagement and a Chinese-language website will also be introduced to boost the company’s presence.

“We are looking for 7% growth in both our international and domestic markets,” Mr Uthai said.

SIRI shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 2.14 baht, down four satang, in trade worth 65.9 million baht.