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Member News provides news about AustCham member achievements and announcements
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  • Friday, January 17, 2020 13:11 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    SiteMinder breaks through billion-dollar valuation, raises new capital to fuel global growth

    SiteMinder, the global market leader in hotel guest acquisition software, has completed a capital raise from international and Australian investors of the highest quality. The raise was led by equity funds managed by BlackRock. Other investors include AustralianSuper; Ellerston, through the Ellerston JAADE Private Assets Fund; and Pendal Group. The process was finalised in January 2020 and values SiteMinder at approximately AU$1.1 billion.

    The raise follows a strong year for SiteMinder, having processed 105 million bookings through its platform for more than 35,000 hotels worldwide. The privately-owned company also surpassed AU$100 million in annual recurring revenue—80 per cent of which is generated from international markets, through both monthly subscriptions and newer transactional revenue streams.

    The additional capital will be used to fuel SiteMinder’s growth and innovation, namely through accelerated go-to-market strategies and increased investments in research and development led from Sydney. The company will also further its international expansion and continue the growth of its more than 900 staff, who are located in six offices spanning Sydney, Bangkok, Dallas, Galway, London and Manila.

    SiteMinder’s technology is today available in eight languages and supported with customer service in a further three. To SiteMinder’s CEO, Sankar Narayan, there has never been a more opportune time to capitalise on an online accommodation industry that has grown 11 per cent per annum over the last 15 years and still represents less than 50 per cent of all accommodation bookings.

    “As the global landscape for hotel technology becomes increasingly fragmented, and remains largely unpenetrated with connected technology, we couldn’t be more thrilled with the quality of new partners we have gained to further cement our position as the global market leader, now and into the future. This investment is a strong endorsement of our growth ambitions to continue building the world’s largest and most open guest acquisition platform for hotels,” says Mr Narayan.

    Michael Dennis, BlackRock’s Asia Pacific Head of Capital Markets, says, “We see the Australian private markets providing a compelling investment opportunity. We are excited about this investment and look forward to SiteMinder delivering on its growth ambitions and extending its market leadership.”

    Mike Ford, Chairman and Co-Founder of SiteMinder, says, “With ever-increasing complexities online amid rising consumer choice, SiteMinder fills a necessary void for hoteliers everywhere. We are delighted to have such a wealth of expertise and experience among our shareholders, to walk the exciting path forward with us.”

    Early investors of SiteMinder⁠—including Bailador Technology Investments, Les Szekely of Equity Venture Partners, and TCV⁠—remain strong supporters and shareholders of the company.

    “The shift in consumer engagement is changing the structure of online travel,” says David Yuan, General Partner at TCV and SiteMinder board member. “We wanted to find a technology provider that could power a better consumer experience and empower hoteliers to benefit from this shift. We searched globally and found the best—SiteMinder in Australia. In working together over the years, we’ve seen SiteMinder emerge as the global powerhouse in the category, and an important franchise in online travel.”

    SiteMinder was advised by UBS as financial adviser and Gilbert + Tobin as legal adviser in relation to the transaction.

  • Wednesday, January 08, 2020 09:45 | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Michael Schlueter, General Manager of Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers recently led the Hotel Management and Associates, to host lunch and donate stuffs for multiple disabilities children under “Fulfill my dream project at Home for Disabled Babies (Bann Fuengfah), Department of Social Development and Welfare, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. Ditbordee Direkvathana and Nate Charutanont also participated.

  • Thursday, December 19, 2019 13:55 | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Radisson Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit fine dining restaurant “Punjab Grill” has been received the award for

    “The Plate Michelin” from Michelin guide. The plate symbol recognizes that the restaurant simply serve good food by using fresh ingredients and carefully prepared. The restaurant also received the fork and spoon symbol

    Which represented comfort and quality of the restaurant.

    The Michelin Guide conveys its restaurant reviews through two to three-line short summaries and an extensive system of symbols, the most revered of which are its globally renowned Michelin Stars. Restaurants may receive zero to 3 stars for the quality of their food based on five criteria: quality of the ingredients used, mastery of flavor and cooking techniques, the personality of the chef in his cuisine, value for money and consistency between visits. The Bib Gourmand and The Plate Michelin are a consolation prize that recognizes friendly establishments that serve good food at moderate prices.


    Since its inception, Punjab Grill has become one of the most critically acclaimed gourmet fine dining restaurants in India and is considered by many to be a crown jewel of North Indian Frontier (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Punjab) gourmet cuisine. 


    The cuisine of this region is generally defined by a simplistic style of preparation, involving large chunks of meat or vegetables, sparsely marinated and slow cooked in a Tandoor at high temperatures.  Spices are used to the right amount so as not to overpower the main ingredients, but just to remain preserved in the flavor of the final dish.  Yellow chilli powder, kasuri methi, kashmiri mirchi, home ground garam masala, cardamom, mace powder, royal cumin and carom are the main spices used in this type of cuisine.

    Punjab Grill’s signature dishes include Crab and Lentil Shorba, Avocado Papdi Chaat, Tawa Scallops and Tandoori Jheenga. Punjab Grill’s signature drinks include Paan Mojito, Kikki De Teekhi and Masala Orange.


  • Wednesday, December 18, 2019 15:08 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Sindhorn Midtown Bangkok Announces Executive Team

    Siam Sindhorn Co., Limited is delighted to announce the appointment of the executive team for Sindhorn Midtown, a new, Thai-born hospitality brand in the heart of Bangkok’s Langsuan neighborhood. Set to open in March 2020, Sindhorn Midtown will offer 344 hotel rooms and suites along with 49 fully-serviced residences. Led by General Manager Jee Hoong Tan, the experienced team is well positioned to launch the brand and introduce a distinctly new hospitality experience for travelers to Bangkok.

    “I am so pleased and honored to lead this exceptional team in presenting our unique new brand experience to Bangkok,” said Jee Hoong Tan. “Comprised of hotel industry veterans with decades of experience in launching new properties, our team is perfectly suited to deliver our brand promise of warm, Thai-inspired service, outstanding amenities and outstanding accommodations.”

    General Manager Jee Hoong Tan brings 25 years of hospitality experience to Sindhorn Midtown, with particular expertise in launching and marketing new hotel properties and brands. He has worked with several established brands across Southeast Asia, including Renaissance, Sheraton, Kempinski, Le Meridien, Westin and Mandarin. His career has spanned three decades, and has focused on sales, marketing and business development. He is skilled at launching new brands, and was part of the launch team for Le Meridien Bangkok, the successful flagship of the now iconic brand.

    Hotel Manager Nawin Pakwattanakarn has 18 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, and has served on the opening team for Sindhorn Midtown since 2017. Nawin came to Sindhorn from The Dhara Dhevi, a 123-room boutique destination resort in Chiang Mai, Thailand where he served as Director of Rooms and Manager. Prior to this, he served as Rooms Manager at the 250-room Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi. Nawin has valuable pre-opening expertise as well as extensive experience in delivering a brand experience for guests.

    Director of Sales & Marketing Nicha Ruenthip brings 15 years of hospitality experience, most recently with SO/ Bangkok. As Director of Sales & Marketing, Nicha has broad experience developing corporate, leisure and MICE business and is very familiar with the Bangkok market. She served on the opening team for Le Meridien Bangkok and is experienced with defining and delivering a brand experience.

    The team is rounded out by Director of Finance, Sukanya Poksupat, a 15-year Marriott veteran with experience opening Marriott properties in Thailand; Director of Human Resources Sulapha Koranantakun, who has more than a decade of experience in guest services and human resources, and has worked on pre-opening teams for other properties hiring the new talent; and Chief Engineer Christopher Suntonvipart, a 13-year industry veteran who most recently worked as Director of Engineering on the pre-opening team for the Renaissance Pattaya Resort and Spa.

    Source: http://www.eglobaltravelmedia.com.au/sindhorn-midtown-bangkok-announces-executive-team/

  • Monday, December 16, 2019 12:23 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Conrad Bangkok Welcomes 2019 Festive Season with

    Glittering Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

    Conrad Bangkok, led by Herman Ehrlich, General Manager, officially started the 2019 festive season with the hotel’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

    The hotel welcomed revered guests and patrons along with their families and friends to a joyous evening of Christmas celebration at its newly-renovated lobby.

    As a part of Conrad Bangkok’s quest to give back to the community, the hotel collaborated with a famous illustrator Painterbell to design a special edition of T-shirt. Funds generated from the T-shirt sale will be donated to Operation Smile Foundation, which works tirelessly to help underprivileged children, born with cleft lips or palates. This charitable organization was represented at the event by Dr. Paul Robere PhD, a member of the Board of Directors.

    The Christmas tree lighting ceremony began with a special live performance of a Christmas song by popular international vocalist Tabitha King, or “Lady T”. Herman Ehrlich graciously opened the ceremony with a memorable speech which was followed by the lighting of the Christmas tree, bathing the hotel in a beautifully soft blue and silver glow.

    The ceremony was then graced with Christmas carols and an operatic chorus from The Elixir band from Mahidol University’s College of Music. Guests were able to savor a selection of festive desserts and refreshments.

    Nestled in the heart of Bangkok’s commercial district, Conrad Bangkok marries luxury with innovation, elegance and intuitive service to ensure that all guests “Stay Inspired”. A major refurbishment has further enhanced the experience with stylish new interiors.

  • Thursday, December 12, 2019 09:20 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    BWH Hotel Group℠ Celebrates Being Named One of Asia’s Top Hotel Chains at NOW Travel Asia Awards

    Kanapot Sithiwong, Editor-in-Chief of NOW Travel Asia (left), presents the award to Olivier Berrivin, Managing Director of International Operations – Asia (right), at Best Western’s regional head office in Bangkok

     BWH Hotel Group is celebrating another major award, after its subsidiary Best Western® Hotels & Resorts was named as one of “Asia’s Top Hotel Chains” at the NOW Travel Asia Awards 2019-2020!

    This prestigious title was presented to the company in a grand ceremony and gala dinner held in the ballroom of the Fullon Hotel Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf, Taiwan, on November 15, 2019. This marks the third prestigious award won by Best Western Hotels & Resorts in Asia in recent months, after it was named as Asia’s “Best Midscale Hotel Chain” in the Travel Weekly Asia Readers’ Choice Awards for a fifth consecutive year and inducted into TTG Asia’s “Travel Hall of Fame” – Best Mid-Range Hotel Brand.

    “We are thrilled to have been named as one of Asia’s Top Hotel Chains at the NOW Travel Asia Awards. NOW Travel Asia is one of the region’s most respected leisure travel magazines, so to be rated so highly by their esteemed readers is a great honor indeed. This award is even more satisfying as BWH Hotel Group spans every sector, from economy to luxury. With our diverse portfolio of 17 brands, BWH Hotel Group is now a truly comprehensive hospitality company that can cater to every location and market segment. We look forward to creating even more excellent guest experiences all across Asia in the future,”said Olivier Berrivin.

    Founded in 2012, the NOW Travel Asia Awards recognize excellence in all sectors of the region’s tourism industry, with 22 categories including hotels, airlines, restaurants, spas and more. The awards are voted by the readers of NOW Travel Asia, which is distributed in Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, China and South Korea.

    BWH Hotel Group has achieved many milestones in the last 12 months, including the launch of Asia’s inaugural Vīb® and BW Signature Collection® hotels in Thailand, and the opening of Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc, which marked the company’s return to Vietnam. The innovative SureStay Hotel Group® has been launched in Japan, the Philippines and Laos, a third Best Western hotel will soon be introduced to Yangon, and BW Signature Collection will make its Japanese debut in the cultural city of Kyoto.

    The year’s biggest development, however, was the acquisition of WorldHotels Collection in February 2019, which completes BWH Hotel Group’s portfolio with a collection of upper-upscale and luxury hotel concepts.

    To learn more about BWH Hotel Group and Best Western Hotels & Resorts, please visit www.bestwesternasia.com or www.bestwesternasiadevelopers.com        

  • Wednesday, November 27, 2019 16:27 | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Minor International Public Company Limited (“MINT” or “the Company”) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dillip Rajakarier as the Company’s Group Chief Executive Officer (Group CEO), replacing William E. Heinecke, who will take on the new position as Chairman of Executive Management Committee, while retaining his role as Chairman of the Board. The appointment is effective as of 1st January 2020.

    Stepping up from his current role as Group Chief Operating Officer (Group COO) of MINT, Mr. Rajakarier takes on his promotion to Group CEO of MINT whilst maintaining his leadership role as CEO of Minor Hotels, ensuring the continued development and success of the hotel division. 

    As Group CEO of MINT, Mr. Rajakarier will be responsible for the Company’s overarching strategy across all business units, including the corporate shared services of legal, IT and finance, as well as talent development and business culture. With a strong focus on driving expansion, sales and profitability worldwide, Mr. Rajakarier will work closely with the Board of Directors to achieve the long-term objective of becoming a globally-recognized leader in all three of MINT’s core businesses: hospitality, restaurants and lifestyle. Taking the helm of MINT in January 2020, Mr. Rajakarier brings with him formidable industry expertise and a proven track record of success with MINT.

    “It is a huge privilege to be given the opportunity to lead Minor International – a truly global company that is renowned for its incredible growth and talented team members. I am tremendously optimistic about the future of our Company. Indeed, we are moving swiftly to structure the organization for even faster growth, to ensure we can respond to the fast-changing needs of customers around the world in each of our business avenues,” Dillip Rajakarier said, before paying tribute to MINT’s Founder and Chairman. “William Heinecke’s industry and leadership achievements are recognized globally and the outstanding success of the Company speaks for itself. Mr. Heinecke’s industry insight and personal dedication have fostered global success from the ground up, and I fully intend to build upon the values and assets of his incredible accomplishments.”

    William E. Heinecke, Founder and Chairman of MINT, commented on the appointment, “Dillip has been instrumental to the success of Minor International and Minor Hotels throughout the past decade. As a high-ranking executive, his business and leadership talents, coupled with a tenacious passion for excellence, have played a significant role in expanding our organization and strengthening its reputation.” Looking to the future, Heinecke added, “Dillip’s commitment and achievements to date are commendable. The Board and I have every confidence that Dillip is the ideal leader to drive the next chapter of global growth for the Company. In understanding the need to put shareholders, customers and employees at the centre of Company strategy and growth, Dillip is highly capable to strengthen our current position and ensure that MINT is well-equipped to reap continued success going forward.”

    Since joining Minor in March 2007 as VP Finance for the Hotel Group, Mr. Rajakarier has played a significant role in the expansion of the hotel division, making it a much-admired leader in the industry. Notable achievements under his leadership include the recent acquisition of NH Hotel Group, which was not only the largest deal to date for Minor Hotels but also a highly strategic transaction, the addition of Tivoli brand in Europe and Latin America, the Elewana brand in Africa and the Oaks brand in Australia, among others. Under his tenure, the Anantara brand has expanded from Asia to the Middle East, Africa and Europe. The Avani brand was also created and expanded into a sizable portfolio. Altogether, MINT now boasts a solid collection that exceeds 520 hotels. Mr. Rajakarier has also overseen the achievement of robust financial results in the hotel division, which have greatly contributed to the overall success of Minor International. 
    Dillip Rajakarier further commented, “MINT will solidify its leadership in the hospitality, restaurants and lifestyle market through a diverse portfolio that will respond rapidly to changing consumer demands. We will also remain opportunistic, by continuously evaluating both existing and new business opportunities. Moreover, we will focus on transforming the business through innovative solutions and the use of new technology and digital tools, as well as building on our organizational culture and the talents of our people to maximize potential.”

    Source: https://www.minorfood.com/en/news/mint-announces-the-appointment-of-dillip-rajakarier-as-group-chief-executive-officer

  • Wednesday, November 27, 2019 09:10 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    AMATA received THSI award for Sustainability Excellence

    On November 26, 2019 at Professor Sangvian Indaravijaya Auditorium, the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) Building, Mr. Viboon Kromadit, Director and Chief Marketing Officer, AMATA Corporation PCL, and Mrs. Rewadee Jantamaneechote, Company Secretary of AMATA Group received Highly Commended Sustainability Excellence and Thailand Sustainability Investment (THSI) Award for the listed companies with market capitalization between 10,000 – 30,000 million baht at the SET Awards 2019. SET granted these awards to the listed companies who have an outstanding performance in responsible business and sustainable development reflecting their successful business operations in economic, social and environmental dimensions with importance placed on corporate governance and benefits of stakeholders.

  • Friday, November 22, 2019 14:44 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The great combination of art and science to offer the next level of healthcare experiences and satisfaction in neurology, orthopedic and spine with integrated care approach

    On 14th November, Dr. Praset Prasarttong-Osoth, the founder of Bangkok Dusit Medical Service, PLC. (BDMS), presided over the grand opening ceremony of Bangkok International Hospital together with Narumol Noi-am, Acting President & Chief Financial Officer - BDMS and Michael David Mitchell, the Hospital Director of BIH. Besides BDMC executive members, doctors and staff, YaYa Urassaya Sperbund joined this event as a special guest.

    Under the concept of "Rediscover Your Life." Bangkok International Hospital aims to deliver the next level of patient experience and satisfaction by offering comprehensive state-of-the-art care. Health talk on the stage was given by multidisciplinary team, including Dr. Nanthasak Tisavipat, Dr. Sarij Srisuparp, Dr. Vajara Phiphobmongkol, Dr. Phonthakorn Panichkul, and Dr. Asawin Puwatanasan. In addition, a press tour was arranged to demonstrate Hybrid OR, Cutting-edge robotic imaging to drive minimally invasive surgery, Smart ICU, and Premium Elite suite.

    #BangkokInternationalHospital #ArtMeetsScience#GrandOpening

  • Wednesday, November 20, 2019 15:09 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    SureStay Hotel Group® Arrives in Laos with New Hotel in the Heart of Vientiane

    Best Western® Hotels & Resorts continues to introduce its innovative SureStay Hotel Group to exciting new destinations across Asia, with the signing of the brand’s inaugural property in Laos.

    Opening its doors on November 19, 2019, SureStay Hotel by Best Western Vientiane will be located in the center of the Lao capital, a short stroll from the banks of the Mekong River and the city’s lively Walking Street. Vientiane’s Wattay International Airport is just a 15 minute drive away.

    The launch of this hotel will introduce international service standards to the premium economy hotel sector in Vientiane. Designed with a blend of classical Lao art deco and French colonial styles, SureStay Hotel by Best Western Vientiane will comprise 68 rooms and suites, all featuring sleep-inducing beds, refreshing bathrooms and complimentary Wi-Fi.

    Each day starts with breakfast at the onsite restaurant, while the Sure Spa and top floor fitness center offer a variety of ways to unwind during the day. The biz corner in the lobby are perfect for guests who need to stay connected – including corporate travelers. Then, as the sun sets, the Tipsy Elephant Rooftop Bar promises cool drinks and stunning views over the mighty Mekong.

    “We could not wish for a better way to introduce SureStay Hotel Group to Laos. With its prime downtown location in the country’s capital city, surrounded by key tourist sites, SureStay Hotel by Best Western Vientiane puts guests in the heart of the action. This desirable location is complemented by elegant décor and amenities for business and leisure travelers. We look forward to introducing a new era of accommodation to Vientiane,”said Olivier Berrivin, Managing Director of International Operations - Asia.

    Vientiane is a captivating destination that blends the grace and charm of Indochina with European influences. Visitors can discover a series of enticing attractions, including Patuxai Arch, which resembles the Arc de Triomphe, the spectacular golden stupa of Pha That Luang, and Wat Si Saket, which houses more than 2,000 Buddhist statues. Alternatively, Walking Street and the riverside Night Market are great places to stroll, shop for souvenirs or simply soak up the enchanting ambience, which feels much more relaxed than many other Asian capitals.

    Laos is becoming increasingly popular among international travelers; according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Information, Culture & Tourism, 2.2 million people visited the country in the first six months of this year, up 5% year-on-year.

    SureStay Hotel by Best Western Vientiane will become the fourth operational SureStay® hotel in Asia, following SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Sukhumvit 2 in Bangkok, Thailand; SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Shin-Osaka in Japan; and SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western AC LUXE Angeles City in the Philippines. SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Cebu City is also scheduled to open its doors in March 2020.

    Launched in October 2016, SureStay Hotel Group is already celebrating more than 260 properties globally, making it one of the fastest growing brands in the hotel industry today. No matter which SureStay hotel travelers choose, they will enjoy consistent levels of quality, comfort, cleanliness and service guarantee, all at an affordable price.

    Best Western will now seek further opportunities to introduce this forward-thinking brand to even more locations across Asia and worldwide.

    For more information and reservations, please visit www.bestwesternasia.com

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Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce

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43 South Sathorn Road   ·   Bangkok Thailand 10120

Tel: +66 2 210 0216   ·   Fax: +66 2 675 6696   ·   office@austchamthailand.com

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