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MEET THE TEAM

BOARD & MANAGEMENT

Gary Murray – Founder & CEO
Alaa Afifi – President
James Kaplan – Destination Capital Chief Executive Officer
Louis Genelli – Group Director of Digital Marketing
Warangkana Onucharoenpornpat – Executive Secretary to President
Waewwan Chavanothai – Group Director of People
Rajesh Aggarwal – Group Finance Head
Mario Fernando – Group Director of Drinks & Bars
Shawn Tulsi – Group Director of Events & Entertainment
Marko Rasanen – Vice President Operations
Alessio Carta – Vice President Interior Design
Somporn Naksuetrong – Vice President Business Development
Senee Doungsuwan – Senior Vice President Development
Worawut Anupornwattanakij – Head of Legal
Kittitouch Sirisub – License Specialist
Supakit Eimsamank – Senior Vice President Acquisitions

MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

In 2020, the pandemic has changed the world and very drastically changed how every business operates. The hospitality and restaurant business saw the most profound structural changes. Our team has risen to the occasion, looking ahead to the post-pandemic environment, we have reinvented ourselves. Destination Group has emerged as a learner, bigger, smarter, and more productive company. We have centralized our group services from all hotels, restaurants, and hostels into a centralized services group based in our corporate head. This means our human resources, finance, and purchasing across the whole group are now in our corporate office under one team.
This enables us to operate more efficiently with more control and secure group wide purchasing power. We have implemented cross-utilization of manpower in our businesses allowing us to become more productive with a smaller workforce while we still offer the same level of customer service. We have rolled out a travel and tour team that enables us to consolidate up the value chain to package our properties with tours and ground services. This gives us a competitive advantage against other hotels and hostels and further enhances our business unit profitability. We have rolled out ghost kitchen brands in all of our hotels that are using Grab and Food Panda platforms. This enables our restaurants to drive more revenue at times of the day when it is typically slower. Lastly, we have launched an events team that focusses on driving more events into our hotels, restaurants, and hostels thus increasing revenues from outside guests and driving more people to come to our properties whether they be in-house guests or external event guests. The result is dynamic, more productivity, more revenue, less overhead, and higher utilization of our assets.”

HISTORY OF DESTINATION GROUP

Destination Group was founded almost 25 years ago by Gary Murray, the firm’s current CEO, as a real estate investment company focused on acquiring distressed hotel assets. The Company’s first acquisition was the Melia Hotel in Hua Hin. Thailand, a 297-room 4-star hotel, acquired for approximately US$22m, renovated for US$5m, and sold in 2014 for US$100m. Growth continued through acquiring hotel assets in Phuket, Hua Hin, Koh Samui, and Bangkok. As a natural adjunct of the hotel business, the Company started to operate branded restaurants under Destination Eats. In 2008, the Company opened Hard Rock Cafe Phuket, its first successful foray into the restaurant business.
In 2014, the Company opened its first Hooters restaurant, which led to a multi-franchise development agreement in 2015 with Hooters for exclusive brand rights in SE Asia. Driven by the rise of food delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company expanded to include virtual kitchen brands in 2020. Further expanding into the hospitality industry, the Company began acquiring hostels in 2019 under the brand Collective Hospitality. Party hostel’s Slumber Party and Bodega comprise most of the 34 hostels in the portfolio, positioning the brand as the world’s 4th largest hostel company. In 2022, the Company plans to open their hotel/hostel concept, Socia\tel Koh Samui, and their glamping hostel, Path Hostels.
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