Asia Pacific (CHW-AP), one of the world's largest privately-owned hotel companies, today confirmed details of a dynamic expansion in its hotels across Thailand during the next two years. The move will make Thailand one of the largest, most strategic markets in the region for CHW-AP, and a key component in its overall plans to more than double its current hotel portfolio in Asia Pacific over the next four years.

CHW-AP will open seven new hotels in Thailand across its three core brands - Regent®Hotels & Resorts, Radisson®Hotels & Resorts and Park Plaza®Hotels & Resorts - adding more than 1,500 hotel rooms in key destinations including Bangkok and Phuket by 2010. CHW-AP currently manages the recently opened Park Plaza Sukhumvit Bangkok and has a franchise property, the 448 room Radisson Hotel Bangkok."Thailand's hospitality market remains buoyant despite a number of challenges and continues to hold enormous potential for accelerated growth. It is one of our major focus markets and represents about 10% of the number of hotels currently under development in our Asia portfolio," said Martin Rinck, President and Managing Director, Carlson Hotels Worldwide - Asia Pacific.

"We will be introducing our luxury Regent brand in Bangkok and Phuket, which will be signature hotels in the expanding tourism offerings of these cities. These projects will also contribute to the generation of career and training opportunities for Thai nationals in the hospitality sector."

Four hotels are scheduled to open in Bangkok under the CHW-AP portfolio by the end of 2010. This includes the Radisson Hotel Bangkok Sathorn, a 436 room property located in the business district and close to Silom, one of the city's most vibrant shopping and entertainment areas, and the Radisson Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit, a 170 room property. Both properties are on-track to open next year.

Additional openings in 2010 include the 142 room Park Plaza Bangkok Asoke, conveniently located along a trendy and bustling stretch of Sukhumvit Soi 18 and The Regent Bangkok, a 321 room luxury development also located on Sukhumvit Road."These new developments are a response to demand within Thailand for quality hotels and luxury accommodation. The Regent Bangkok will deliver some of the highest levels of luxury and quality, becoming one of the most desirable addresses in the Thai capital," added Rinck.The resort town of Phuket will see two new CHW-AP managed properties by the end of next year - Radisson Plaza Resort Phuket Panwa Beach and The Regent Phuket Cape Panwa to open in 2009. The Radisson Resort & Spa Krabi, another property in the resort town of Krabi is also scheduled to open at a later date.

"Despite the recent political challenges, Phuket continues to deliver high load factors to airlines and strong occupancy levels to hotels. The Cape Panwa area, which has retained its tranquil beauty despite extensive development on the rest of the island, is a superb location with a stunning ocean view of the Andaman Sea, and is most certainly the right fit for our Regent brand," explained Rinck.

Regent hotels under development in Bangkok and Phuket join a growing portfolio of the luxury brand across the region - The Regent Maldives is planned to open in the first half of next year, The Regent Manila Bay in the Philippines by 2010 and The Regent Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia by 2011.

CHW-AP currently has about 9,000 rooms in operation and more than 10,000 rooms under development across the region and is one of the world's 10 largest hotel companies ranked by the number of properties it manages globally and is the largest international hotel operator in India.