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Insights from SEAHIS 2024: Karan Kaul discusses Absolute Hotel Services’ growth and market dynamics

Karan Kaul, Deputy CEO and Head of Business Development at Absolute Hotel Services, shares insights at SEAHIS 2024 about the company’s expansion, investor relations, and market trends.

At the recent SEAHIS 2024 conference in Bangkok, Karan Kaul, Deputy CEO and Head of Business Development at Absolute Hotel Services, shared valuable insights into the company’s growth, market dynamics, and future strategies. The discussion highlighted the expansive portfolio of Absolute Hotel Services and the significance of investor relations in the hospitality industry.

Absolute Hotel Services boasts an impressive portfolio of over 250 hotels globally, spanning from Germany in the west to Indonesia in the east. In the Asia Pacific region alone, the company operates 20 hotels with an additional 25 in the pipeline. They also manage five golf clubs under a white-label basis. Their European affiliate, the HR Group, owns and leases over 200 hotels, offering a diverse range of branded properties. This broad portfolio enables Absolute Hotel Services to provide a balanced perspective to investors and partners.

The importance of attending the SEAHIS conference cannot be overstated. Kaul emphasized the value of networking with potential partners, developers, and consultants in emerging markets such as Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Cambodia, and Nepal. He noted the strategic significance of expanding their network in these regions to drive growth and development.

Addressing the Chinese market’s volatility, Kaul mentioned the balanced recovery experienced by Absolute Hotel Services. Despite the decline in Chinese tourists, other markets like Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea, India, and Russia have shown substantial growth. The company’s strategic locations in Thailand, including Bangkok, Pattaya, and Chiang Mai, attract a diverse range of regional tourists, mitigating the impact of fluctuations in Chinese tourism.

On the topic of geopolitical influences, Kaul remarked on the resilience of the tourism and investment sectors. He acknowledged the minimal impact of global political disturbances on their operations, with a notable exception being Vietnam. The country’s internal political adjustments have stalled many projects, significantly affecting the hospitality and real estate industries.

Discussing Thailand’s tourism dynamics, Kaul suggested a shift in focus from merely increasing visitor numbers to enhancing revenue per visitor. He advocated for optimizing spending per tourist to ensure sustainable growth and avoid the pitfalls of over-tourism. Kaul proposed a strategic limitation on new hotel developments to maintain a balance between demand and supply.

In conclusion, Karan Kaul’s insights at SEAHIS 2024 underscore the importance of strategic growth, market diversification, and adapting to global trends in the hospitality industry. Absolute Hotel Services remains committed to leveraging its extensive portfolio and regional expertise to navigate the evolving market landscape.

Andrew J Wood
News Editor

Andrew J Wood was born in Yorkshire England, he is a former hotelier, Skalleague and travel writer. Andrew has 48 years of hospitality and travel experience. Educated at Batley Grammar School and a hotel graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh. Andrew started his career in London, working with various hotels. His first posting overseas was with Hilton International, in Paris, and he later arrived in Asia in 1991 on Bangkok with his appointment as Director of Marketing at the Shangri-La Hotel and has remained in Thailand ever since. Andrew has also worked with the Royal Garden Resort Group now Anantara (Vice President) and the Landmark Group of Hotels (Vice President of Sales and Marketing). Latterly he has been the General Manager at the Royal Cliff Group of Hotels in Pattaya and the Chaophya Park Hotel Bangkok & Resorts.

A past board member and Director of Skål International (SI), a former National President with SI Thailand and a two time past President of the Bangkok Club. Andrew is the former President of Skål Asia. In 2019, Andrew was awarded SKÅL’s highest award the distinction of Membre D’Honneur.

He is a regular guest lecturer at various Universities in Asia.