Thailand-based hotel operator, Centara Hotels & Resorts, has announced the appointment of Allen Thomas as Vice President Business Development. Thomas has 28 years of experience developing hotel and resort businesses, a career that includes positions with HPL and Como Hotels and most recently Resorts Holdings International. His appointment marks another significant Centara move in their five-year plan to double the company’s size and become a major regional hospitality brand, according to a statement.

“Allen is a tenured industry expert with an impressive track record of growing the brand footprint of hotel and resort businesses in Asia and beyond. We are confident of meeting our expansion targets with a professional of Allen’s calibre leading our Business Development division,” says Thirayuth Chirativat, CEO  of Centara Hotels & Resorts, commenting on the new appointment.

Thomas will report to Centara’s Deputy CEO Markland Blaiklock. He will be responsible for executing the company’s plan to grow from 58 to 134 hotels over the next five years. Blaiklock himself was brought on board in October to lead the expansion strategy, according to Centara.

In the weeks since then, Centara has already launched its new affordable lifestyle hotel brand COSI; signed a joint venture to take ownership of Centra by Centara Government Complex Hotel & Convention Centre Chaeng Watthana, Thailand; announced a significant upgrade of its technology infrastructure in partnership with Oracle and IDeaS; and finalised an agreement with Nakheel to develop a family lifestyle resort in Dubai.

With this latest appointment, Centara’s management team is almost complete following its recent reorganisation. The company is building a diverse and experienced leadership structure to set it up for continued future success.

Formed by one of Thailand’s leading retail groups–The Central Group–Centara Hotels & Resorts has a substantial presence in its home country Thailand, including Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Vietnam and Oman. Centara opened its first property in the Maldives—Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa—in 2009. Centara currently operates two properties in the Maldives; Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives and Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives.

In April 2017, Centara signed a new hotel management agreement for Centara Grand Muthaafushi Resort & Spa Maldives. Located in the Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve, Centara Grand Muthaafushi Resort & Spa Maldives would be the fourth beach resort managed by Centara Hotels & Resorts.