Hospitality management chain Swiss-Belhotel International opened a regional office for Europe in Athens.
The group's chairman and president Gavin M. Faull said negotiations were under way on a number of management opportunities in Europe, with three hotels expected to be in place late this year.
"We have long been looking at investing in Europe and the new regional office will provide us with a springboard into the market," Faull said. "We have achieved success in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and we feel the time is now right to take our nine international brands into Europe."
To head the expansion, Swiss-Belhotel International appointed John Lagos to VP – operations and development Europe and The Balkans. He is based in Athens.
"John's experience in international operations and corporate hotel management will assist us drive our growth forward," Faull said.
Lagos is an Australian national with more than 40 years of international hotel management experience in New Zealand, Australia, the US, Vietnam, Russia, the Middle East, Greece and Egypt.
Swiss-Belhotel International's portfolio currently has more than 125 hotels, resort and projects. It has a presence in China, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Georgia, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.