Founded: 1948

First hotel: Princess on New Road, Bangkok

Home base: Thailand

Brands: Dusit International currently operates four brands. Dusit Thani is the group’s most prominent, focusing on the high end with a distinctly Thai style. By contrast, the Dusit D2 brand is more contemporary and vibrant. The Dusit Devarana brand – which as of May 2017 comprises just the Dusit Devarana Hot Springs & Spa Conghua, Guangzhou – leans more towards resort and spa offerings. Finally, the Dusit Princess is a slightly more pared-back offering that focuses on value and practicality.

Portfolio: Dusit International operates 29 properties in eight countries across its four brands, though the company is looking to more than double this by 2020. Dusit’s portfolio currently includes hotels in Thailand, China, Kenya, the US, the UAE, Egypt, Maldives and the Philippines.

Key markets: The hotel group’s home country Thailand is by far its key market, with just under half of its properties located in the country across Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Khao Yai, Korat, Krabi, Pattaya and Phuket.

That said, Dusit is looking to expand its portfolio of hotels rapidly, particularly overseas. It has its sights set on China at the moment, with five properties in the country (though, interestingly, none in the major cities of Beijing or Shanghai) and plenty more on the way. Among these is the Dusit Thani Wetland Park Resort Nanjing, Jiangsu, set to open later this year. The group has also unveiled a number of initiatives aimed at bolstering its position in the Chinese market, notably making WeChat Pay (part of Chinese mobile messenger platform WeChat, which currently has some 800 million users) a viable payment option at all of its China and Thailand properties.

Outside of Thailand and China, the UAE is where the company has its most sizeable presence, with five properties (four in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi). The most recent of these was the Dusit D2 Kenz Hotel in Dubai.

Dusit continues to keep its home country as a high priority, and in 2017 alone announced plans for two new Bangkok properties – one in the city’s popular Chatuchak Market, the other the company’s first Dusit D2 property in the city, the Dusit D2 Chaengwattana.

Loyalty programme: Dusit International relaunched its Dusit Gold loyalty programme back in 2015, notably introducing the new “Instant Rewards” feature that gives members bonuses on each stay. These can range from spa credits to room upgrades, based on preference and membership level.

At the time, research done by the company indicated that guests valued recognition and free nights most, and this was reflected in the revised programme. Dusit Gold has three tiers – Premier, Executive and Elite – and no points. Free nights are offered to Executive and Elite members after 20 qualifying nights with a minimum spend of US$2,500 on room charges. The group also claims access to Executive level can be achieved in as few as five stays.

There are also certain benefits that can be enjoyed straight away. A member’s hotline, special room rates, dining credits and complimentary amenities are available upon signup.

Future plans: Dusit is currently eyeing a total portfolio of 69 properties in more than 20 countries by 2020 – a massive jump from its current 29 in just eight countries. These include its first property in Bangladesh – a Dusit Princess – by the end of 2017, along with a new Dusit Thani in Yangon and a Dusit D2 in San Juan in the Philippines in 2019.

China and the Philippines are set to be the biggest recipients of new Dusit properties, with three currently under development in China and six in the pipeline in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, upcoming country debuts include Singapore, Qatar (two properties), Oman, Australia, Vietnam, Tunisia, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Turkey.

Separately, the group entered into a strategic partnership with Japan’s E-Hotel chain, Colours International in March 2017, to form a new Dusit Colours joint venture that will look to develop new properties in the country across all of its brands.