Asia’s Tourism Boom Bringing Life Back To Factories And Cinemas


The hospitality industry is a tight market, not helped by decreasing space in major tourism hotspots as more and more brands move in to stake their claim. Booking a family connecting room in Bangkok isn’t hard as customers have a lot of options, but getting one set up is becoming more problematic.

In response, the tourism industry have turned to commercial buildings, like warehouses and factory buildings, transforming these buildings into hotels. As a result of their initial construction, most of these buildings have limited space to be converted into guest rooms, with the tourism industry adapting by billing these new hotels as boutique hotels. Others are turned into hostels by their new owners, retaining their industrial feel and meeting the increasing budget traveller market that has cropped up thanks to the surge in low-cost airlines.

The Thai capital has seen many of these conversions alongside their new family connecting room Bangkok, with most located in the centre of its Old City district, usually a short walk away from the city’s main historic landmarks. A good example is the Inn a Day, located in a former sugar warehouse, on the bank of the Chao Phraya River in the Tha Tien market, with a view of the Temple of the Dawn, whilst being a mere five minute walk from the Grand Palace.

The Thai capital, one of the world’s biggest tourist destinations, provides a lot of fertile ground for industrial building conversions, but other tourism hotspots are also catching onto the trend. Other countries, are now creating great examples for conversion jobs, like The Warehouse Hotel at Robertson Quay on the Singapore River.

The Robertson Quay hotel is in a building with a colourful history, having been once acted as an illegal liquor distillery, a rave venue, and even an opium den. It stayed unoccupied for 2 decades, before the Singaporean hospitality firm, Lo & Behold Group, known for building some of the city’s more notable restaurants and bars. The work was handled by design agency, Asylum, and architecture group, ZarchCollaboratives. The end result retained the vaulted ceilings, original brick walls and the old pulley system in the building, while getting new, modern innovations.

This is just one of such projects being done across Asia, in places like Manila, Beijing, and even the famously space conscious and unsentimental Hong Kong is seeing such refurbishments. The market is clearly on the route for growth, and is looking for creative people to take the reins.