Thailand-based Dusit Hotels & Resorts makes its branded European debut with Dusit Suites Athens. Opening in Athens marks Dusit’s European debutBy Mary Scoviak | April 6, 2023Share Thailand-based hotel group plans further expansion on the continent as part of aggressive global growth push. BANGOK -- Dusit Hotels and Resorts, under Dusit International, one of Thailand’s leading hotel and property development companies, made a major stride toward achieving plans to double its international portfolio by 2025 with the April 3 opening of its first Dusit-branded property in Europe, the luxury, 36-key Dusit Suites Athens.In an interview with Hotel Investment Today, David Roberts, assistant vice president, development, Dusit International, outlined what’s ahead for this sector-spanning group.Hotel Investment Today (HIT): What made this the right time and the right deal to enter Europe?David Roberts (DR): We have been looking for opportunities to bring our brands to Europe for some time. In fact, we signed the hotel management agreement for the Dusit Suites Athens before the start of the pandemic. What makes this the right deal is that it has been developed with one of our existing owners. So, they know our brands and offerings very well. This creates a strong foundation for our entry into the market.The timing of this deal is optimal as travel to Europe has seen a significant rebound post-COVID with arrivals reaching 80% of pre-pandemic levels last year, according to data from UNWTO.With further recovery expected this year, we can take advantage of this trend and position ourselves for success in the European market.We currently have 49 hotels in operation globally and hope to reach 90 by 2025.David RobertsShare this quoteHIT: What are your key feeder markets for the new propertyDR: The GCC, the Levant, the United States and the United Kingdom.HIT: How do you leverage economies of scale when you have only one branded hotel in the region?DR: Our hotel business is guided by an asset-light strategy that emphasizes hotel management agreements to expand our global reach, and we are already in talks for other potential properties in the region.Europe-based properties such as Dusit Suites Athens benefit from the expertise of our Dubai office, led by Prateek Kumar, senior vice president–operations, which can provide marketing, operational and technical support with the backing of our core team based in Bangkok.At Dusit Suites Athens, we also carefully selected a hotel management team with relevant local experience to successfully open the hotel and drive performance.HIT: What are your plans for further growth in Europe, by location and brand.DR: We are open to all locations within Europe and will be actively pursuing key markets and cities across the region. Our portfolio of brands allows us to explore both resort and city locations, from midscale to luxury developments. We currently have 49 hotels in operation globally and hope to reach 90 by 2025, including key European destinations.