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PHUKET: Hospitality company Kata Group Resorts is readying to embark on a major new phase of expansion following the appointment of renowned financial consultants Asset Pro Management (APM) Co Ltd.

APM will prepare Kata Group Resorts, owner and operator of six resorts in Southern Thailand, for a listing on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) after the hospitality company’s business plan and finances was restructured in accordance with SET requirements.

With a listing expected in 2017, Kata Group expects to embark on a period of significant growth fuelled by extra capital, including developing a hotel and community mall in Phuket called The Landmark Patong, as well as projects in established tourism areas in Pattaya and Hua Hin.

The move is a sign of intent from Kata Group, who have built a strong reputation in the four-star and five-star markets in Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi and Khao Lak over 35 years, as they aim to leverage Thailand’s continuing high growth trajectory as Asia’s leading tourism destination.

Kata Group Resorts’ President and owner Pramookpisitt Achariyachai said he was encouraged by the growth of Thailand’s tourism sector and the increasing number of attractions, which was driving the growth of the hospitality industry.

“We feel we still have a lot of room to grow,” Mr Pramookpisitt said. “We currently own and operate six hotels in absolute beachfront locations – with one a two-minute walk from the beach – featuring concepts in the four-star and five-star categories, appealing to a wide range of target groups and markets from around the world.

“Our strategy has always been to grow steadily and sustainably. This will not change. We have a strong project in The Landmark Patong and are seeking opportunities in Pattaya and Hua Hin, for which we need capital to fund the growth. This is why we have appointed financial experts in Asset Pro Management to achieve this goal.”

Investment in the hotel business in Phuket continues to increase. As of December 2014 there were a total of 46,803 rooms in registered tourism establishments for 750 hotels, according to Gazette columnist Bill Barnett of C9 Hotelworks and the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

With the development of infrastructure and services, such as the expansion of the new airport, the ASEAN Economic Community and Thailand’s convenient geographical position between the three mega markets of India, China and Indonesia, growth is expected to continue.