Proud Group, a property arm of the Liptapanlop family, has branched out to Phuket, investing 7 billion baht to develop a water park and hotels on the resort island.

According to Proudputh Liptapanlop, the group’s executive director, of the total 7 billion baht, 2.5 billion will be used to build the Andamanda water park on a 46-rai plot.

Some 1.5 billion baht will be spent on a 300-room Holiday Inn four-star hotel on 7 rai within the water park project, located in Kathu district.

Andamanda is due to open in early 2021.

The remaining spending will go to building the InterContinental five-star luxury hotel with 221 rooms on 33 rai along Kamala beach. The hotel had a soft opening this month and is scheduled to fully operate in the third quarter of this year.

“Despite massive numbers of existing hotels and entertainment spots, we haven’t seen anything like what we are doing,” Ms Proudputh said.

Krisda Rojanasomsmithi, director of hotels at Proud Group, said Phuket’s tourism outlook remains promising, citing the island’s convenient transport, well-established public utilities and airport expansion, as well as the government’s policy to promote Phuket and the Andaman Sea as a 365-day destination.

“We are sure that Phuket will become a must-visit destination for all,” Mr Krisda said. “China remains one of our major target countries, but we are also looking into other potential markets such as Russia, the United Kingdom and India, especially for free independent travellers and Mice”, meaning meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions.

Ms Proudputh said the Andamanda project is designed to reflect the beauty of Thai arts and culture and local authenticity, comprising three key zones.

The three are Phuket’s largest water park, offering over 19 thrilling world-class attractions; the Holiday Inn Andamanda Phuket, managed by InterContinental Hotel Group; and a hangout community in 2,000 square metres.

The company expects Andamanda to welcome more than 700,000 visitors in the first year.

Mr Krisda said the company believes there is space for luxury hotels in Kamala beach. The InterContinental Phuket Resort sets itself apart from existing five-star hotels by showcasing exquisite Thai handicrafts and art collections from local Thai artists.

Natha Chomsevee, general manager for the Andamanda project, said the company aims to recruit over 1,000 workers for the two projects and plans to break even in 6-8 years.

The article appeared in the Bangkok Post.