FACE TO FACE: Thomas Hoeburn

FACE TO FACE: Thomas Hoeburn

The Asia Pacific region has been named as the top location for hotel development.How has Hilton been involved within this and specifically in Thailand?

The Hilton brand enjoys great brand recall backed by over 90 years of hotel management expertise and Hilton Worldwide is one of the fastest growing hotel companies in terms of deals signed globally. Asia Pacific is an important market for us, and we see enormous potential in Thailand. With our award winning services and portfolio of best in class brands, we are well placed to meet the needs of travellers across the different segments.

We understand the uniqueness of Thailand and adapt our accommodation and service offerings to meet the needs of the Thai market for both local and foreign travellers. We are also constantly working with developers and owners in the local market who are leaders in their respective fields. Through the combined strengths and expertise of Hilton Worldwide and our partners, we deliver world class accommodation offerings and award winning services that fuses international standards with a local Thai touch.

Are there plans to build anymore hotels within Thailand in the next few years?

Yes there are. We opened Hilton Pattaya early this year and recently opened Conrad Koh Samui in September. We have also announced that we will be opening the Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok and Double Tree by Hilton,Sukhumvit Bangkok next year.

Likewise Thailand has been a popular destination with Brits this year, has your property and the others found that there have been more UK guests?

The UK is a key market for us. While we have felt the effect of the global economic slowdown in previous months, we are still welcoming large numbers of UK travellers to our hotels. While we, along with the rest of the hospitality industry in Thailand, faced some difficulties due to the political instability last year, we are witnessing a return of confidence in Thailand and expect the overall industry to pick up in the coming months.

Have you noticed any trends in what guests want from a hotel experience? How have you adapted the hotel/s to meet this?

Yes, my team and I have observed several new guest trends, and Hilton Worldwide remains synonymous with hotel because of our innovative approach to products, amenities and service. We are always keeping our ears to the ground and consistently striving to enhance guest experiences at our properties.

 For example, we are witnessing an increasing number of guests from China as the Chinese become increasingly affluent. In order to cater to the needs of this segment, we recently introduced our “Huanying”program. It takes its name from the Chinese word for “welcome” and extends authentic experiences with amenities, service standards and dedicated Hilton Team Member training. Conrad Koh Samui, as another example, is also setting new benchmarks in seamless technology experiences at hotels with innovative in-room products such as IPTV.

Are there expansion or development plans for Millennium Hilton Bangkok in the near future?

We are constantly looking at innovative ways to improve our guests’ stay.  Millennium Hilton Bangkok recently rebranded our signature,global spa brand – eforea: spa at Hilton in March this year, and we are continuously evaluating all areas of the hotel to ensure we offer services that sets benchmarks for quality guest experiences.

Mark Elliott
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Mark Elliott
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