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Dusit plans aggressive expansion in hospitality

WITH the hospitality and tourism sector among the most dynamic industries in Asean and around the world, Dusit International has a proactive strategy that will broaden its already high level of expertise in hospitality education and supply more qualified workers within Thailand and around the region.

Following the vision and inspiration of his mother, Thanpuying Chanut Piyaoui, who initiated Dusit Thani College 20 years ago, Chanin Donavanik, managing director and chief executive officer of Dusit International, now aims to bring the concept of superior quality and excellence to meet the industry's overwhelming workforce requirements in Asean.

"Despite the hospitality and tourism sector having grown so rapidly, Asian countries face a lack of high-quality human resources. Notably, most of the leading universities in Asia, including in Thailand, have less interest in this sector [than in others]," he said.

After successfully providing five major Thai and International bachelor's degree programmes and a master's programme via Dusit Thani College, the company is now establishing Dusit Thani Vocational College in Bangkok for the awarding of certificates at the professional and high-professional level.

The new college is expected to hold its first enrolment early next year.

Moreover, Dusit International is also eyeing opportunities to establish its hospitality education elsewhere in the region, given that for the past five years there has been enormous demand for qualified workers, but a lack of supply.

In 2009, Dusit Thani College entered its first overseas partnership with Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) to prepare the young people of today for an exciting career in hospitality services.

LPU, which commenced the first Dusit Thani College-LPU programme in June of that year, is the leading university in the Philippines with international certification. It comprises four campuses and has 15,137 students taking hospitality-management majors at present.

Chanin said Dusit Thani College and LPU were now considering a possible joint venture to establish a high-quality hotel school in the Philippines. Another Dusit Thani College partner - Swiss hospitality school Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne - is also interested in joining the project.

Meanwhile, in its latest move, Dusit Thani College has signed consulting and licensing agreements with Bali International Training & Development Centre (Bitdec) as the primary professional consultant in transforming the centre into a full-fledged hospitality training institute with updated facilities and capable faculty before its relaunch next year.

Under the arrangement, Dusit Thani College will provide comprehensive consultancy services, including on-site support for the pre-launch and post-launch of programmes related to strategy, staff recruitment guidelines, train-the-trainer (teaching and learning assessment), preparation of teaching materials, academic audit, review of curriculum and pre-opening support for the Indonesian institute.

In the first year of operation, Bitdec will provide hotel management, restaurant and kitchen management programmes. The institute is then expected to offer full programmes over the following three to five years.

Located on 15 hectares in Tanah Lot, Bitdec will be the first private hospitality college on Bali.

"Universities from countries such as China, India, Myanmar, Vietnam and the Maldives are approaching us to form partnerships with Dusit Thani College. The future of tourism depends greatly on qualified workforces with proper hospitality education," Chanin said.

Dusit International is also aggressively moving to expand its hotel-management services across Greater Asia and the Middle East, as well as having a significant pipeline of new properties under development, in China and the US.This year, the company expects to manage another eight or nine hotels, including one in Nairobi - the capital and largest city of Kenya - Guam , Qatar and Hainan (part of China's Guangdong province).

Recently, Dusit Fudu Hotels and Resorts announced the signing of an agreement with Everfashion Group to manage a deluxe and beautiful castle-style hotel in Fushun city, near Shenyang in China's Liaoning province.

The Dusit Thani Castle Fushun, Liaoning, is located within the Hot Go Park, currently being developed into one of the largest lifestyle and entertainment destinations in China.

Scheduled to open in January 2017, the property will be the first internationally branded hotel in the city. The 450-room deluxe hotel, with its stunning architectural design, is about 45 minutes from Shenyang Taoxian International Airport and 40 minutes from Shenyang city centre by car.

In addition to providing hotel-management services, the company is also looking to buy the international hotels on its radar, Chanin added.


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