Dusit International has announced its plans to open at least 10 new properties over the next 12 months across Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore and Vietnam – raising the number of Dusit-branded properties in operation to 37.
The openings are in line with Dusit’s three-pronged strategy for sustainable and profitable growth, which includes balance, expansion and diversification. Following this strategy, the company aims to have more than 14,000 keys in operation across more than 20 countries by 2021. Today, the company operates 27 hotels, representing over 7,000 keys, across nine countries.
Dusit’s brand lineup, which covers midscale through to luxury segments, comprises Dusit Thani, Dusit Devarana, dusitD2, and Dusit Princess. The company also recently introduced ASAI Hotels, an offshoot, affordable lifestyle brand designed to link millennial-minded travellers with authentic local experiences in vibrant destinations worldwide. Five ASAI Hotels are already in the pipeline: one in Bangkok, three in the Philippines, and one in Myanmar.
To fuel its sustainable expansion, Dusit has a promotion and hiring policy that ensures only top management talent is appointed at its properties.
Recent senior leadership appointments made by the company include:
• Mr Lars Eltvik as Managing Director of PHI Education, Dusit Hospitality Management College, and dusitD2 The Fort, Manila, Philippines. This is an expanded role for Mr Eltvik, who was previously the company’s Managing Director of Education. He will oversee the operations of Dusit’s pioneering college and hotel, which offers a fully integrated learning and training experience. He brings more than 30 years of experience in hospitality education and hotel operations to the role.
• Mr Kris Panyasuksri as General Manager (GM) of dusitD2 Yarkay Thimphu, Bhutan. Formerly the resident manager of Dusit’s award-winning Dusit Thani Maldives resort, Mr Panyasuksri was recently promoted to lead the company’s first hotel in Bhutan (opening Q3 2018). Prior to joining Dusit in 2015, Mr Panyasuksri was Resident Manager of Centara Grand Island Resort and Spa Maldives.
• Mr David Baldwin as GM of Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu, a 271-key resort situated on the northern peninsula of Mactan island, Philippines (opening Q4 2018). In a career spanning more than 30 years, Mr Baldwin has worked for luxury hotel chains such as Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Ian Schrager Hotels, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Accor Hotels. Prior to joining Dusit, he was the Pre-Opening General Manager of Sofitel Guiyang Hunter – Guiyang, China.
• Mr Eric Piatti as GM of Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore, the first Dusit-branded hotel in the country (opening Q1 2019). Mr Piatti brings to his role more than 30 years of senior management experience at luxury hotels in the USA, Switzerland, Japan, China, India, Egypt and Thailand. Prior to joining Dusit, he spent five years as GM of Swissôtel Nai Lert Park, Bangkok, Thailand.
• Mr Christopher Wichlan as GM of dusitD2 Davao, Dusit Thani Residences Davao, and Dusit Thani Lubi Island Resort. Since starting his career more than 20 years ago, Mr Wichlan has worked for luxury hotel brands such as InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Hyatt. Prior to joining Dusit, he was GM of Crowne Plaza Phuket Panwa Beach. Dusit’s upcoming projects in Davao City, Philippines, are slated to soft open in Q1 2019.
• Mr Saman Sarathchandra as GM of dusitD2 Resort and Spa Vung Tau, Vietnam (opening Q1 2019). The Sri-Lankan born, Swiss National has worked in the hospitality industry for over 35 years. Prior to joining Dusit he was Senior General Manager of Sedona Suites Hanoi, Vietnam. He also spent several years in Myanmar as GM of Sedona’s hotels in Mandalay and Yangon.
• Mr Atique Rahman as GM of Dusit Princess Dhaka, Bangladesh – another country debut for Dusit – which is slated to soft open in Q2 next year. US national Mr Rahman has worked in the hospitality industry for over 37 years for companies such as Ramada, Radisson Hotels, Pan Pacific, and Westin. Prior to joining Dusit, he was Group Executive Director for Lakeshore Hotels, Gulshan, Dhaka, overseeing four hotels.
Dusit International will soon appoint leaders for the upcoming Dusit Princess Cebu City, Philippines; dusitD2 Salwa, Doha; and Dusit Hotel and Suites Doha. Dusit Fudu Hotels & Resorts, which represents the company in China, will appoint leaders at upcoming properties in Nanjing, Fuzhou, and Zhouzhuang.
“As our global expansion continues apace, I am delighted we have such a talented, experienced and driven team to lead the operations of our upcoming properties,” said Mr Lim Boon Kwee, Chief Operating Officer, Dusit International. “In line with our mission to uniquely deliver gracious hospitality to the world, it is important we have GMs who share and embrace our values, and who always strive to exceed guest expectations at their respective properties. By hiring and promoting the best, we can ensure a culture of excellence permeates our entire company.”