Turizmcinin Gazetesi talked and asked some questions to Mr. Luciano Lillus, General Manager of Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Bangkok Menam Riverside.
1- Could you please introduce us your background in Tourism and Hotel industry?
I have studied Hotel Management in the Netherlands. After graduation I started my early days of my career in St Tropez and Nice and moved after to destinations such as Curacao, Aruba, Mexico, Cape Town before heading to South East Asia. I have been managing as General Manager several hotels and resorts in Thailand, Bali, Malaysia and The Maldives, just to name a few. Thailand has always been my base and I consider it as my home after being here for many years with my family.
2- What are your thoughts about the future of the hotel industry in Thailand, Asia, and in the world? Also new trends in the hospitality sector in Asia?
The future of the hotel industry in Thailand looks very promissing and we hope to be back on Pre-Covid figures during 2024. Many regions in the world are already exceeding Pre-Covid figures in terms of Occ and ADR, and this side of the world will follow soon. The trend seems to be focused on “revenge travel”, resulting from a long wait until borders re-opened again for tourism. Of course, we have to deal with factors such as high oil prices and inflation, which are all having a big impact on the development of tourism worldwide. Guests are more and more looking for hotels where sustainability is part of the hotel concept, and we fit perfectly into that category of hotels.
3- Could you please tell us Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside after covid years?
Here at our hotel, we are climbing steadily out of the negative Covid period and we are heading towards a positive future. We are working hard to get the operations back on the level as during Pre-Covid, and I think we have succeeded in that as you have seen during your stay with us and according to the feedback that we receive daily from our guests.
4- Why do guests prefer Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside, what are your important markets? How is the Turkish market?
Guests prefer the Ramada Plaza because of its unique location (near Asiatique and we offer the largest outdoor riverside seating area) combined with a superb high value for money. Our rooms are well equipped, comfortable and complete with great views on the river, we have a wonderful pool area and multiple restaurants and bars. Room rates are very reasonable and competitive. We are located directly on the riverside and we offer a free boat shuttle service several times per day to the nearby BTS station from where our guests can travel comfortable to other city destinations.
The Turkish market looks promising as we can clearly see the increase in Turkish visitors. The Thai Authority of Tourism (TAT) is well represented in Turkey and we see great results from their promotional efforts. We work with the top 3 Turkish guest suppliers and we are therefore expecting a strong growth in bookings. Our hotel is a perfect fit for Turkish guests since they are looking for quality locations direct on the riverside.
5- What is the percentage of online bookings via the internet for your hotel compared to the traditional distribution channels?
That is an interesting question.
As you know, bookings via the internet platform is a continuous growing market and becomes more and more the most important source for bookings for “products” such as hotels. Dynamic pricing has never been as important as during Post-Covid where strategies needed to be flexible and transparent. Where we saw a majority in traditional distribution channels such as travel agencies and tour operators, the reality shows us the majority of guests are booking through the online agents. Of course, is the fast development of mobile booking a big factor in this development.