Dusit Thani Public Company Limited (DTC), one of Thailand’s leading hotel and property development companies, has announced its 2020 performance, posting a loss of 1,011 million baht, mainly due to coronavirus restrictions limiting international travel and bringing global tourism to a halt.
The company’s strategy for stringent cost control, non-room revenue generation, and concentric diversification limits the impact of COVID-19 on its core business, and forms the foundation for sustainable growth in the post-pandemic world.
“While the company ran at a loss in 2020, this was to be expected following ongoing travel restrictions and the temporary Q2 closure of our owned and managed properties in line with country-specific government directives to prevent the spread of the virus,” said Ms. Suphajee Suthumpun, Group CEO, DTC. “However, our shrewd assessment of the situation, coupled with our stringent cost controls, programmes for enhanced revenue generation, and strategy to diversify our business risks by investing in various lines of business, meant we were able to significantly reduce the impact on our operations overall.”
Despite the reported loss, DTC’s efforts to mitigate the impact of the global pandemic on its business are reflected in the gradual improvement in quarterly results the company posted in 2020, with revenue increasing by 60.3% from Q3 to Q4.
“Over the past year, we have continued to develop ourselves by remodelling our revenue streams, concentrating on non-room businesses, and preparing for the rebound of tourism by enhancing our stay models to bring additional convenience, experience and value to our guests and customers,” said Ms. Suthumpun. “For example, we have transformed vacant land at Dusit Thani Hua Hin into a nature-based tourist attraction complete with paddies for growing and harvesting rice, which we believe will become a unique selling point. Similar models will be introduced at other Dusit Hotels and Resorts to drive sustainable value.”
Throughout 2020, DTC continued its strategic journey for sustainable expansion by opening five new hotels in key destinations worldwide, and growing its food business regionally through the full acquisition of The Caterers, a leading catering company for schools and events in Vietnam. This was brought under the umbrella of Epicure Catering, Thailand’s premier caterer to the education sector, which is a subsidiary of Dusit Foods.
While COVID-19 heavily impacted the company’s core hotel business in 2020, its education and food business thrived and generated revenue on target. Dusit Thani College, for example, enjoyed a 17% YoY rise in enrollments. KAUAI, the healthy-fast casual restaurant that DTC brought to Thailand under a Joint Venture agreement with South Africa based Real Foods Group, also expanded its presence in Bangkok with the opening of three new grab-and-go outlets at Virgin Active Fitness Clubs (Siam Discovery, EmQuartier, and the Empire Tower).
As for tourism and hospitality in 2021, Ms. Suthumpun is optimistic that the industry will start to recover as more people receive vaccinations and traveller confidence returns.
“We are seeing good progress in the rollout of vaccination programmes worldwide, and in many destinations, there is a real concerted effort to get the tourism industry back up and running by expediting vaccinations for tourism and hospitality workers,” said Ms Suthumpun. “Our teams in several countries have already been vaccinated, and we are confident that tourism will gradually start picking up from H2 2021 onwards. When global travel is unlocked, we are confident that the foundations we laid last year will serve as the bedrock for our sustainable growth.”