Destination Capital Formed as Investment Fund to Revive Hospitality Sector

Bangkok 14 July 2020: Destination Capital, Bangkok-based private equity real estate investment and asset management company, is set to join forces with its capital partners to acquire hotel assets in the Asia Pacific, with a focus on Thailand employing a strategy of acquiring strategic hotel assets and then adding value through renovation, asset management and rebranding typically with a global hotel brand to boost financial returns and revitalize the hospitality sector.

Destination Capital was recently established and is affiliated with leading hospitality owner and operator in Southeast Asia, Destination Group.

Chief Executive of Destination Capital, James A. Kaplan shared that Destination Capital will source assets that will provide high yielding returns after a renovation and repositioning strategy is executed, with a focus on prime-located freehold hotels and resorts of approximately 200 rooms located in key urban and resort locations.

Over the next 18 months Destination Capital will continue to source and acquire hotels and estimates that it will ultimately hold a portfolio of 12-15 four-star hotels.

Kaplan will leverage his global hospitality experience together with the resources of Destination Group and its capital partners to attract domestic and international private equity with a focus on acquiring, repositioning, and managing hotel assets in Thailand and elsewhere in Asia.

Thailand is a world-class tourist destination with almost 40 million international tourist arrivals last year. Recent estimates indicate 2020 international arrivals will be as low as 8 million of which 7 million have already arrived prior to the Covid-19 lockdown. The aviation and tourism industries have been disproportionately impacted, particularly in Thailand, where tourism accounts for almost 18% of GDP.

Millions of people are unemployed, and thousands of hotel rooms are now shuttered which has prompted the immediate need for fresh injections of capital necessary for hotels to re-employ and re-open as well as sustain operations during what most industry experts agree will be a more prolonged recovery cycle until a vaccine is available and air traffic returns with regularly scheduled service.

Although the hospitality industry will be slow to recover as a result of the current situation, historically, Thailand has successfully rebounded from crisis-to-crisis and emerged more robust and more resilient. “We believe a similar rebound story will be true with a full recovery in 3-4 years,” said Kaplan.

“We will deploy our resources to source and acquire hotels which present a turnaround story during this period of rebound,” says Kaplan, who along with his experienced hospitality and real estate teams have a proven track record of asset acquisition and management of hotel turnarounds over the past several decades.

Destination Capital’s chief executive added that the resilience of the Thai economy and tourism industry is a key factor to revive hotel and hospitality industry in the medium-term in line with company’s investment strategy.

  • Asia Pacific mandate with a focus on acquiring hospitality assets in Thailand with turnaround and value add potential
  • The company plans to acquire a portfolio of 12-15 hotels over the next 18 months with capital values ranging up to 1.5 billion Baht.
  • Five strategic hotel asset management initiatives: Recapitalize, Reposition, Rebrand, Re-employ and Re-open
  • Fully supported by leading hotel owner and operator Destination Group
  • Experienced deal execution track record of acquiring, adding value and selling hospitality assetsAbout Destination Capital
    Destination Capital (DC) was recently formed as investment fund to partner with Private Equity and Institutional Funds to source hotel acquisition opportunities and asset manage in the Asia Pacific region with an emphasis on Thailand.

    The company will sponsor a series of private equity funds, trusts and investment platforms mandated to acquire strategic hotel assets which present value-added opportunities for our capital partners to earn a financial return with a view to re-open hotels and re-employ people in the tourism sector, which in Thailand directly accounts for 18% of annual GDP.

    Destination Capital is part of Destination Group which has a 24-year track record in Thailand of buying, repositioning, asset managing and selling hotels. 

    James A. Kaplan

    Chief Executive Officer, Destination Capital Co., Ltd.

    James has over 30 years of global hotel and resort development and acquisition experience with a primary focus in the Asia Pacific region.

    His extensive global development and transactional experience as well as legal and bankruptcy background is a solid foundation upon which Destination Capital can execute its strategy.

    Prior to taking on the CEO role at Destination Capital, James was Senior Vice President Development for Minor Hotel Group and has also served as a senior executive at leading hotel companies across the Asia Pacific region, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

    James is a graduate of both the University of California Berkeley with a BA in Political Science/Asian Political Systems and Golden Gate School of Law in San Francisco with a Juris Doctor degree emphasizing real estate.

ONYX Hospitality Group enhances China team structure

Shanghai, 22 March 2018 – ONYX Hospitality Group, one of the region’s leading hotel management companies, is enhancing its commitment to China by strengthening its Shanghai-based team structure. In addition to creating a new Greater China regional base in Shanghai, the company has appointed Gina Wo to a newly-created role as Senior Vice President and Head of Greater China, effective 26 March 2018.

Gina Wo as Senior Vice President and Head of Greater China

Joining ONYX Hospitality Group after over 16 years at InterContinental Hotels Group, Gina will oversee all aspects of the company’s ongoing growth and expansion in one of the world’s fastest growing economies. To be based in Shanghai and reporting directly to President and CEO Douglas Martell, Gina will focus on further growth through the localisation of the company’s long-term strategic road map, to solidify the positioning of ONYX Hospitality Group as the hospitality player of choice among travellers, team members, investors and partners in the Greater China region.

One of Gina’s first priorities at ONYX Hospitality Group would be to increase the company’s corporate talent capabilities in Greater China by reviewing the existing manning and structure, as well as strengthening the company’s regional operations, hotel openings and commercial expertise in order to ensure its sustained and continued growth in line with robust portfolio expansion in the coming years. The Shanghai regional headquarters will be complemented by a satellite office in Hong Kong, with team members dedicated to supporting the company’s Hong Kong presence.

This strategic move follows significant recent China development wins for ONYX Hospitality Group, including a China-wide strategic partnership with Sincere Holdings Group for both companies to exclusively develop and open multiple Shama serviced apartment properties across 12 key cities across China. Amari, the company’s flagship hotel brand, also launched its first hotel in China in 2017 with the opening of Amari Yangshuo in Guilin.

“The importance of China goes far beyond the market being a huge growth destination for new properties, as the country is also one of our top source markets for travellers to our hotels across
the Asia-Pacific region,” said Douglas Martell, President & CEO, ONYX Hospitality Group. “Gina comes to ONYX Hospitality Group following an illustrious tenure at IHG, and I am confident that with her combined development and operational expertise, leadership strengths and wealth of industry contacts, she will lead us towards greater success in China.”

Based in Bangkok, ONYX Hospitality Group has a growing regional portfolio of 45 operating properties across three core brands in eight countries. The Group has a robust development pipeline of over 20 new properties in markets such as China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia, and has set
a target of having 99 hotels open by 2024 as part of its journey towards being the best medium-sized hospitality player in the region.

Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts announce Michal Zitek as Area General Manager for Angsana Phuket

Phuket, Thailand, October 2017 — Angsana Laguna Phuket is delighted to give a warm welcome to Michal Zitek who has been appointed as Area General Manager to lead the strategic growth and oversee all of the Angsana brand operations in Phuket including Angsana Laguna Phuket, Angsana Villas Resort Phuket, and Angsana Vacation Club.

Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts announce Michal Zitek as Area General Manager for Angsana Phuket
Michal Zitek as Area General Manager for Angsana Phuket

An Australian national – Michal is no stranger to Angsana, having helmed the Banyan Tree and Angsana integrated resorts at Laguna Lăng Cô, Central Vietnam as Area General Manager since 2015. His latest role continues a career spanning more than 25 years in the hospitality Industry. Prior to joining our Angsana Hotels, Michal was the General Manager for The Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel and previously the Pan Pacific Hotel in Bangkok.

“My professional and travelling time throughout south-east Asia has allowed me the opportunity to appreciate and explore the nuances and charms of so many vibrant cultures and lifestyles; I am now excited to return to Thailand for this opportunity to work with the respective teams of Angsana Laguna Phuket, Angsana Villas Resort Phuket and Angsana Vacation Club towards the next exciting chapter of growth and the development of new Angsana products”