Thai hospitality group Dusit International has entered into a strategic partnership with Colours International, operator of Japan’s E-Hotel chain, as part of a move to explore options for new hotels in flagship cities across the country.

The newly formed Dusit Colours joint venture – Dusit’s debut in Japan – will look to develop and operate Dusit-branded hotels combining Thai and Japanese hospitality, along with developing hotel management-related education in the country. Major cities, notably Kyoto, will be explored for new properties across the Dusit Thani, Dusitd2, Dusit Princess and Dusit Devarana brands.

“In the next three years we aim to broaden our portfolio to have more than 50 per cent of our operations outside of Thailand, and entering key markets such as Japan will be essential to reaching this goal,” said Suphajee Suthumpun, group CEO of Dusit International and director of the new Dusit Colours company. “[Colours International’s] local expertise and knowledge will prove invaluable as we explore projects designed to delight visitors and residents alike in Kyoto.”

Dusit International aims to expand its portfolio by around 40 new properties in 21 countries over the next three to four years. The expansion would more than double its current portfolio, which contains 29 properties.

Visitor numbers to Japan climbed by an average of 33 per cent per annum between 2011 and 2015, according to Dusit International, with the country recording its most successful January on record with close to 2.3 million international visitors.;