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

10 October 2018

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Billionaire William Heinecke is on the lookout for further takeovers after more than tripling the number of hotels his MINT:TB" title="SINS" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Minor International Pcl controls through the acquisition of Spain's NHH:SM" title="Company Overview" target="_blank" rel="noopener">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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