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When small is beautiful in hotel industry

Updated: 2013-08-15 01:18
By WANG WEN and MARK HUGHES ( China Daily)

Boutique business owner, manager sees opportunities to import her unique brand

There's a best-selling book with the arresting title Chocolates on the pillow aren't enough: reinventing the customer experience, by Jonathan M. Tisch, chairman and chief executive officer of Loews Hotels and a global leader in the travel and tourism industry. It distils many years of experience in the highly competitive hospitality business that have helped him to enormous success in the art of creating great experiences consistently, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day for his grateful customers.

It may not be Anchalika Kijkanakorn's type of literature. She prefers early Tom Clancy and Harlan Coben thrillers when she has time to read.

When small is beautiful in hotel industry

International visitors at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, The country experienced a 16-percent year-on-year increase in tourist arrivals in 2012 and also attracted foreign hospitality businesses. [provided to china daily]

However, the founder, visionary and managing director of Thailand-based Akaryn Hospitality Management Services betrays a full awareness of every one of its perceptive insights.

Despite having been a hotelier for just 10 years, the 42-year-old is clearly a natural in knowing how to run a successful boutique hotel and villa business for discerning travelers.

Having proved her acumen with three owned and one managed resorts and assorted villas in gorgeous locations in Thailand, the ethnic Han Chinese businesswoman is in talks over three locations in China: one in Taiwan and the other two in Hangzhou and Taizhou, both Zhejiang province.

"The hotel industry in China is going through an exciting time," she said.

The company is looking for a place that is really special and should not be too small. "It must be a place where we can make a difference. I think for local and foreign tourists China is ripe for that," Kijkanakorn said.

She said the company will need a Chinese partner with whom to work.

"We will bring our environmental concepts and we don't want to go into debt," she added.

However, it may be not a good time for a luxury hotel enterprise entering China's market because inbound tourism in China is stagnant and the hotel business has been suffering from increasing costs in recent years.

Statistics from the China Tourism Academy show the number of inbound tourists to China was 133 million person-trips in 2012, a 1.7 percent year-on-year fall.

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