The acquisition will be FLT’s first investment in the accommodation sector and will strengthen its rapidly expanding in-destination travel experiences division, currently being the company’s third core business pillar, alongside its extensive leisure and corporate travel operations.
FLT is one of the world’s largest travel agency groups; it has company-owned operations in 14 countries and a corporate travel management network that spans more than 75 countries. It employs more than 19,000 people globally and has a total of 3,000 stores, with annual group revenues in excess of USD$14bn (B477.68bn).
BHM Chief Executive Officer Anthony McDonald said the acquisition would help fast-track BHMAsia’s growth.
“Strategically, this is a perfect fit – Flight Centre has customers that need hotels and BHMAsia has hotels that need customers. By leveraging FLT’s global distribution network, BHMAsia-managed hotels can deliver improved returns to their owners and an end-to-end experience for FLT customers,” he said.
Mr McDonald, who founded BHMAsia in 2013, will remain in the business as CEO, along with other key BHMAsia executives, as it continues its expansion throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Full details of the transaction and the strategic plans for the group will be released shortly, after the formal completion of the deal, noted a release issued earlier this week.
BHMAsia’s current management portfolio includes properties in Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Samui, Pattaya and Chiang Mai.
Properties range from individual villas and apartments to hotels and resorts. The company is taking on larger properties, including the recently opened 266-room X2 Vibe Sukhumvit Hotel in Bangkok, and is poised to expand its footprint into Vietnam (Hoi An and Danang) in 2018.
BHMAsia’s brands include: X2 (Cross To): Luxury by design – five-star hotels and resorts; X2 Vibe : Mid-scale lifestyle hotels and resorts; and Away Resorts and Villas: Casual resorts and retreats.
In the Phuket area, BHMAsia operates the X2 Phuket Oasis Villa, a luxury villa located just behind Bang Tao Beach. Sleeping up to 14 guests, the property is a collection of seven individual villas with an resort-sized private pool, spacious lobby, kitchen with pantry, both indoor and outdoor dining spaces and an exclusive gaming space containing a pool table.
Slated to open this year also at Bang Tao is X2 Vibe Phuket Bangtao Residence, an eight-story residence to include 84 freehold condominiums with one and two-bedroom units in 11 different configurations. Among the facilities are to be a rooftop swimming pool with sundeck, fitness facilities and the signature 4K café.
Slated to open in 2018 is the X2 Vibe Phuket Patong Hotel, and further north BHMAsia operates the X2 KhaoLak Anda Mani Resort.
“With 15 new deals signed across Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia, 2016 proved to be a successful year for Bespoke Hospitality Management Asia as the addition of around 1,200 new keys represented a doubling of total inventory,” the company noted in January.
“Looking ahead to the coming year, some of these properties will be among eight new additions slated to open in the region in 2017, underlining BHMAsia’s commitment to further growth,” it added.
Expansion in Thailand during 2016 involved all three BHM brands; X2, X2 Vibe, and Away, and focused on Chiang Mai where arrangements were put in place for four additional properties. Deals were also agreed to add one new hotel in each of the traditional tourist destinations of Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, and Hua Hin, while the upcoming destinations of Khao Lak and Khao Yai were to make additions to the BHMAsia portfolio.