Ratchaprasong area aims to emulate Orchard Road

Operators around the Ratchaprasong area are attempting to create an environment like Singapore’s Orchard Road in Bangkok with an integrated shopping area comprising the main streets of Ratchaprasong, Pratunam, Pathum Wan and Ploenchit, in a project aimed at increasing the daily number of visitors by 30 per cent to 350,000 next year.

As part of the strategy, the Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association (RSTA) yesterday welcomed The Platimum Fashion Mall and Novotel Bangkok Platinum as new members to mark the area as an integrated city lifestyle centre with a combined space of 1.02 million square metres in the heart of the capital.

The association is also poised to boost the potential of the Ratchaprasong area through highly efficient infrastructure along with its international exposure as a leading business and lifestyle destination in Southeast Asia, targeting an increase of 30 per cent in the number of Thai and international visitors to the area.

Last year, the number of Ratchaprasong visitors rose to an average of 196,000 per day, an increase of 27 per cent.

The projected 2012 increase is 33 per cent to 260,000 people a day this year, and then by a further 30 per cent next year.

RSTA president Chai Srivikorn yesterday said the association had been strengthening the merchant network of Ratchaprasong with the strategic aim to boost the potential and competitiveness of the area in the regional scale of Asia.

The area includes 12 key business premises: Gaysorn, Amarin Plaza, CentralWorld, Erawan Bangkok, President Tower Arcade, Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, InterContinental Bangkok, Holiday Inn Bangkok, Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, Centara Grand at CentralWorld, Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel and Maneeya Centre.

Adding The Platimum Fashion Mall and Novotel Bangkok Platinum will create the largest business district in Bangkok, boasting full capability and a greatly enhanced image to cover all lifestyle preferences and a complete range of fashion products, Chai said.

To support that objective, the RSTA has implemented a development plan for increasing the potential of Ratchaprasong. It has invested in highly efficient infrastructure across the district to facilitate visitors, including an integrated security system and better lighting around business premises and on the Skywalk.

Some Bt70 million is being spent to widen the Skywalk, specifically the span from the frontage of Amarin Plaza to the connected entrance of Gaysorn. Construction will be completed this coming October.

Another plan is also in place, whereby the Skywalk will be extended sideways from the course of the BTS Skytrain at Gaysorn, forming a T-shape connection to The Platinum Fashion Mall some 500 metres away.

Pongsak Nantawannakul, executive vice president of The Platinum Fashion Mall, said his mall has a solid positioning as the one-stop wholesale fashion shopping mall. There are as many as 60,000 visitors daily, 40 per cent of them foreigners.

The centre also houses the Novotel Bangkok Platinum to accommodate tourists and business visitors needing a convenient place to stay, he said.