Thailand Tourism Boom Lures Major Asian Hotel Investors Summit

Skyrocketing visitor arrivals and Thai Government plans to invest billions of baht into tourism infrastructure are behind the decision to hold one of the region’s leading hotel investment conferences in Bangkok for the first time.

The 5th Asia Pacific Hotel Investment Conference, an IHIF Summit organised by global hospitality conference powerhouse Questex Hospitality Group, will be held from 15th-16th May at the Dusit Thani, Bangkok.

One of the founding fathers of Thailand’s luxury hospitality industry, Chanin Donavanik, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Dusit International, heads up an all-star cast of speakers drawn from the region’s hospitality heavy hitters.

The list also features Thailand hotel pioneers including Ashwani ‘Sunny’ Bajaj, Managing Director, Amburaya Hotels & Resorts, Kevin Beauvais, Co-Founder and CEO, Zinc | InVision Hospitality, Six Senses Hotels President Bernhard Bohnenberger, TCC Hotels Group Senior Executive Vice President Wayne Buckingham, Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi,Vice President, Sukosol Hotels, lebua Hotels and Resorts CEO Deepak Ohri, and Akaryn Hospitality Management Services (AHMS) Founder and Managing Director Anchalika Kijkanakorn, recently elected the first female Chairman of the Board of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.

Maverick branding visionary James Stuart of The Brand Company, Benjamin Cha, Executive Director and Head, HKR Asia Pacific, Aron Harilela, Chairman and CEO of Harilela Hotels, and Sun Hung Kai Properties Hotels CEO Ricco DeBlank lead a strong Hong Kong contingent out of a total roster of more than 50 speakers.

Questex Hospitality Group VP Marilyn McHuge, said more than 300 delegates were expected at the conference, including over 200 hotel owners/investors, operators, developers, policy makers, designers, architects and master planners in Asia.

Topics for keynote addresses and panel discussions include Seizing Opportunities in the Most Desirable Hotel Investment Markets, Identifying Under-valued and Under-served Markets in Asia, Sourcing Debt to Finance Growth in Today’s Market, How to Grow from Owning One Hotel to Owning Many, and The ASEAN Tourism Masterplan and its Impact on Investment Landscapes.

“Thailand is emerging as the hub for tourism in the region, with over 23 million arrivals expected in 2013 and the government expecting tourism revenues exceeding THB2 trillion by 2015,” McHuge said. “This exploding market will receive a further boost following the introduction of a master plan that has been designed for the sector by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, with 28 infrastructure projects approved or in the pipeline and many more on-ground opportunities to discover.

“We are delighted to hold such a significant event in Thailand at a time of great change and when the country is investing heavily in its hospitality and tourism future,” she said. “Thailand and the most influential and visionary players of its industry will take centre stage at the event and we look forward to welcoming major investors from throughout the region to learn from their experiences and consider investment opportunities in such a dynamic market, poised to become even more pivotal with the dawn of the AEC (ASEAN Economic Cooperation) in the next few years.”

Onyx Chief Development Officer Simon Allison, also Chairman of HOFTEL, said: “As Chairman of the region’s leading international association of hotel owners, I really want to see conferences that have content which is new and relevant to the hospitality investment community, as well as giving owners the chance to express their opinions. Last year’s Tourism Destination Investment Conference, while not the largest in Asia, fulfilled those needs and I’m sure the upcoming IHIF Asia will be just as rewarding.”

Robert McIntosh, Executive Director, CBRE Hotels, Asia Pacific, added: “APHIC is an amazingly efficient way to meet business leaders from across the hotel industry, and to enter discussion with key decision makers with interests in the Asian hotel market.”



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