Appointments & Promotions

Centara Appoints Deputy CEO to Lead Next Phase of Growth

BANGKOK, TH. November 9, 2017 – Centara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand’s leading hotel operator, announced the appointment of Markland Blaiklock as Deputy Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Blaiklock will be responsible for steering the continued expansion of Centara, which aims to double both its revenues and number of properties over the next five years.

Blaiklock returns to Centara in an expanded capacity having previously served as the company’s Chief Operating Officer in 2015. He has held senior executive positions with Le Meridien, Shangri-La, Raffles and Accor hotel groups, in Asia and North America. He is a Canadian national educated in England and France.

Centara created the new Deputy CEO position and brought in the experienced executive to focus on the company’s ambitious growth plans over the next five years and beyond. Blaiklock will also oversee operations, human resources, sales, marketing, business development and legal services.

Centara has been expanding outside its base in Thailand, where it operates 32 properties. The company currently has 67 properties open or under development across 13 countries in Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, China, the Middle East and the Caribbean. The next phase of growth will see Centara become an even more significant regional brand with properties opening in China, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Qatar and the UAE.

Centara manages a diverse brand portfolio catering to the needs of key business and leisure travel segments. Its properties range from large, upscale city hotels and convention centres, to elite island resorts and economy products. The company recently launched a new affordable hotel concept, COSI, designed for the new generation of connected lifestyle travellers. In addition to expanding COSI, Centara aims to develop new businesses where it can leverage its competitive strengths of Thai hospitality, food and spa expertise, and synergy with the Central Group.

Blaiklock’s operational experience will also be put to work leading improvement of Centara’s technical platforms and systems, ensuring the company’s core infrastructure supports its vision for global expansion. “I’m delighted to be back with Centara during this dynamic period of growth for the company,” said Markland Blaiklock. “The plans are ambitious and exciting. I look forward to contributing my experience, energy, and leadership to Centara’s capable team. Together we can achieve great progress.”

Centara’s Chief Executive Officer Thirayuth Chirativat added, "We are delighted to have Markland back with Centara. This new position is an important component in our growth plans and his proven leadership qualities will help us accomplish our goals.”

Coming Up In The December Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Hotel Law: Issues & Events
There is not a single area of a hotel’s operation that isn’t touched by some aspect of the law. Hotels and management companies employ an army of lawyers to advise and, if necessary, litigate issues which arise in the course of conducting their business. These lawyers typically specialize in specific areas of the law – real estate, construction, development, leasing, liability, franchising, food & beverage, human resources, environmental, insurance, taxes and more. In addition, issues and events can occur within the industry that have a major impact on the whole, and can spur further legal activity. One event which is certain to cause repercussions is Marriott International’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. This newly combined company is now the largest hotel company in the world, encompassing 30 hotel brands, 5,500 hotels under management, and 1.1 million hotel rooms worldwide. In the hospitality industry, scale is particularly important – the most profitable companies are those with the most rooms in the most locations. As a result, this mega- transaction is likely to provoke an increase in Mergers & Acquisitions industry-wide. Many experts believe other larger hotel companies will now join forces with smaller operators to avoid being outpaced in the market. Companies that had not previously considered consolidation are now more likely to do so. Another legal issue facing the industry is the regulation of alternative lodging companies such as Airbnb and other firms that offer private, short-term rentals. Cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Monica are at the forefront of efforts to legalize and control short-term rentals. However, those cities are finding it’s much easier to adopt regulations on short-term rentals than it is to actually enforce them. The December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine these and other critical issues pertaining to hotel law and how some companies are adapting to them.