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Hilton Hotels’ Koos Klein Named Asia Pacific Hotelier of 2007
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Singapore, May 23, 2008 – Koos Klein, President, Hilton Hotels – Asia Pacific, has been named “Asia Pacific Hotelier of the Year 2007” at the 11th Asia Pacific Hotel Investment Conference, organised and hosted by Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.

The ninth recipient to receive the prestigious award, Mr Klein has spent an illustrious 16 years of his 27-year career in Asia Pacific. Since his appointment as President, Hilton Hotels - Asia Pacific in 1997, Mr Klein has spearheaded dynamic growth of the world’s most famous hotel brand, from 25 hotels to 60 today. He was responsible for realigning the Hilton portfolio, and did this by setting the bar high for new Hilton hotels and evaluating existing hotels against stringent brand standards. He has also overseen the company’s strong financial performance with Hilton’srevenue in Asia Pacific having doubled and profits quadrupled over the past decade.

Handing the Award to Mr Klein, Mr Peter Barge, Global Chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels commented, “This annual award is dedicated to recognising the true capabilities of leading hoteliers in Asia Pacific. I am delighted to honour Mr Klein’s contribution to the industry.

Throughout his career, his commitment to developing new talent and growing the business has not faltered, and neither has his passion for hospitality.”

Today, Mr Klein oversees the largest development pipeline in Hilton’s history in Asia Pacific, with the group poised to open 300 hotels in the next 9 years. When the Company was acquired late last year by the Blackstone Group, the already strong focus on development intensified. Hilton has identified key growth markets China and India as well as Australasia where the group will strengthen its presence and introduce its Hilton Family of Brands across the market segments.

As part of its recent plans to introduce the Hilton Family of Brands to Asia Pacific, under Mr Klein’s leadership Hilton Hotels has formed strategic partnerships with India’s largest developer, DLF to own and develop 75 hotels in 7 years; and Marigold Hospitality Limited, in India to franchise 16 Hampton by Hilton economy hotels. In China, the company will operate 26 hotels in China by 2011 and has entered into a deal to franchise 25 hotels under its mid-scale brand, Hilton Garden Inn® to RREEF Alternative Investments (the global alternative investment management business of Deutsche Bank) and H & Q Asia Pacific. Efforts to develop the flagship Hilton brand continue, while the company expects to bring more luxury properties into the pipeline under the Conrad and Waldorf =Astoria Collection brands.

Mr Klein commented, “There has never been a more exciting time in the hotel industry and it is truly the century for Asia Pacific to blossom. The contribution of the hotel and travel industry to economic and social development must not be undervalued. Tourism and travel are responsible for creating positive change and broadening horizons. As the pace of development gains momentum, the challenge for the industry going forward will be to quickly develop new talent and build the leaders of tomorrow with the right skill set to face the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead”.

Koos Klein was born and raised in the Netherlands. After graduating from Hotel Management School at Maastricht, he embarked on career in the hotel business by joining the Holiday Inn group in the Netherlands. Mr Klein then joined Accor and was transferred to Australia in 1990 as General Manager of Accor’s first hotel in Australia, the Novotel Sydney at Darling Harbour. Following this, he was appointed in a regional capacity, responsible for Accor’s rapidly growing hotel operations in Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Between 1990 and 1996, under Koos’s leadership, Accor's presence in these regions grew from 1 hotel to 55. He returned to Europe where he headed the Novotel Central Europe organization until 1998, when Mr Klein took on the role with Hilton Hotels as President of Asia Pacific.

About the Asia Pacific Hotel Investment Conference
Each year, the Asia Pacific Hotel Investment Conference honours an Asia Pacific Hotelier who has had the greatest impact on the region’s hospitality industry. The Asia Pacific Hotelier of the Year award was first presented at the 3rd Asia Pacific Hotel Investment Conference in 2000. Past recipients include:

  • Mr. Kwek Leng Beng, Executive Chairman of Hong Leong Group
  • Dr Hari Harilela, Chairman of The Harilela Group
  • Mr. Richard Hartman, Managing Director of InterContinental Hotels Groups
  • Mr. Gwee Liang Kheng, President and Chief Executive Officer of publicly listed company Hotel Plaza Limited, and also President and CEO of United Overseas Land
  • Mr. David Baffsky, Chairman of ACCOR Asia Pacific
  • Dr. Lo Ka Shui, GBS JP, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Great Eagle Holdings and Chairman of the Langham Hotels International Group
  • Mr. Giovanni Angelini, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
  • Mr A. Patrick Imbardelli, former Chief Executive Officer, IHG Asia Pacific
Going from strength-to-strength, the Asia Pacific Hotel Investment Conference is widely recognised as the premier forum for the Asia Pacific hospitality industry. A “By-Invitation Only” event, the conference has for years drawn key decision makers in the global hotel and tourism industry to meet and share insights on the region. The 11th Asia Pacific Hotel Investment Conference has the sponsorship support of Accor Asia Pacific, Baker & McKenzie, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, Hilton Hotels, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, the first and leading global hotel investment services firm, is uniquely positioned to provide both the depth and breadth of advice required by hotel investors and hotel companies, through a robust and integrated local network. In 2007, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels provided sale and purchase advice on 259 hotel transactions globally; representing a combined value of US$13.9 billion, a total of 54,763 hotel rooms in 84 cities.

Hilton Hotels Corporation is the leading global hospitality company, with more than 3,000 hotels and 500,000 rooms in 76 countries and territories, including 100,000 team members worldwide.

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Contact:

Hilton Hotels Corporation
Faith Thoms, Director PR & Communication – Asia Pacific
Tel: +65 6833 9762, Email: faith.thoms@hilton.com

Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels
Min Min Wong, Vice President, Marketing
Tel: +65 6536 0606, Email: minmin.wong@ap.jll.com
 

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Also See: IHG’s Patrick Imbardelli Named Asia Pacific Hotelier of the Year 2006 / May 2007
Chairman of the Langham Hotels International - Dr K.S. Lo Named Asia Pacific Hotelier of 2004 / May 2005
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