Dusit International plans expansion in Middle East, Asia-Pacific

Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu, the Philippines. Photo credit: Dusit International(Image: Dusit International)

Thailand-based hotel developer Dusit International has announced plans to open at least 10 new properties over the next 12 months across Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore and Vietnam.

The openings will increase the number of Dusit-branded properties in operation to 37. There are in line with Dusit's plan for sustainable and profitable growth. The company aims to have 14,000 guestrooms operating across more than 20 countries by 2021, increasing from Dusit's current 27 hotels with more than 7,000 guestrooms in nine countries.

The group's current portfolio operates under its brands Dusit Thani, Dusit Devarana, dusitD2 and Dusit Princess. The company also recently established the brand Asai Hotels. Five Asai Hotels are already in the pipeline: one in Bangkok, three in the Philippines and one in Myanmar.

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Recent senior leadership appointments made by Dusit to spearhead the company's expansion include:

Lars Eltvik 

Dusit has promoted Lars Eltvik to MD of PHI Education, Dusit Hospitality Management College and dusitD2 The Fort, Manila, Philippines. Eltvik previously held the position of MD of Education. He will oversee the operations of Dusit’s college and hotel. He has more than 30 years of experience in hospitality education and hotel operations.

Kris Panyasuksri 

Dusit has appointed Kris Panyasuksri as GM of dusitD2 Yarkay Thimphu, Bhutan. Panyasuksri was originally the resident manager of the Dusit Thani Maldives resort. Dusit recently Panyasuksri to lead the company’s first hotel in Bhutan, which is slated to open in the third quarter of 2018. Panyasuksri was resident manager of Centara Grand Island Resort and Spa Maldives prior to joining Dusit in 2015.

David Baldwin

Dusit has hired David Baldwin as GM of the 271-room Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu resort on the northern peninsula of Mactan island, Philippines opening in Q4 2018. Baldwin has worked for several hotel chains, including Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Ian Schrager Hotels, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Accor Hotels, during his 30 years in the industry. He was the pre-opening GM of Sofitel Guiyang Hunter–Guiyang, China prior to joining Dusit.

Eric Piatti

Eric Piatti is the GM of Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore–the first Dusit-branded hotel in the country–which is opening in the first quarter of 2019. Piatti has more than 30 years of senior management experience at hotels in the U.S., Switzerland, Japan, China, India, Egypt and Thailand. He spent five years as GM of Swissôtel Nai Lert Park, Bangkok, Thailand before joining Dusit.

Christopher Wichlan

Christopher Wichlan is the GM of dusitD2 Davao, Dusit Thani Residences Davao and Dusit Thani Lubi Island Resort. Wichlan has worked for hotel brands, including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Hyatt, during his more than 20 years of experience in the hotel industry. He was the GM of Crowne Plaza Phuket Panwa Beach before joining Dusit. Dusit’s upcoming projects in Davao City, Philippines are slated to soft open in the first quarter of 2019.

Saman Sarathchandra 

Dusit has appointed Saman Sarathchandra as GM of dusitD2 Resort and Spa Vung Tau, Vietnam, which is also slated to open in the first quarter of 2019. The Sri-Lankan born Swiss National has worked in the hospitality industry for over 35 years. He was senior GM of Sedona Suites Hanoi, Vietnam prior to joining Dusit. Sarathchandra also served as GM of Sedona’s hotels in Mandalay and Yangon in Myanmar.

Atique Rahman

Dusit has hired Atique Rahman as GM of Dusit Princess Dhaka, Bangladesh–  opening in the second quarter of next year, introducing the company to the country. The U.S. national has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 37 years for companies, including Ramada, Radisson Hotels, Pan Pacific and Westin. Rahman was group executive director for Lakeshore Hotels, Gulshan, Dhaka, overseeing four hotels before joining Dusit.

Dusit International's next move will be to appoint leaders for the upcoming Dusit Princess Cebu City, Philippines, dusitD2 Salwa, Doha and Dusit Hotel and Suites Doha in Qatar. Dusit Fudu Hotels & Resorts 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,” Lim Boon Kwee, COO of Dusit International, said in a statement. “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.”