Industry Update
External Article10 October 2018

U.S.-Thai Billionaire Expands Hotel Empire to Tap Chinese Boom

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Billionaire William Heinecke is on the lookout for further takeovers after more than tripling the number of hotels his Minor International Pcl controls through the acquisition of Spain's NH Hotel Group.

Heinecke, a U.S.-born turned Thai citizen, says it's all about size when it comes to fighting off competition and capturing the surge in Chinese tourists.

The number of Chinese outbound tourists climbed 6 percent to 135 million in 2016, and they spent $261 billion, or a fifth of the world market, according  to the United Nations World Tourism Organization. That's set to continue surging, with the number of Chinese with a passport expected to double in the next two years to 240 million.

Through acquisitions it has added the Elewana Collection in Africa, Oaks Hotels & Resorts across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, and four-to-five star Tivoli hotels and resorts in Portugal. The mid-market NH Hotel Group will give Minor 385 more hotels.

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