William E. Heinecke, founder, chairman and CEO of Minor International has been named Corporate Hotelier of the World for 2017. Nominated as one of four finalists in the corporate hotelier category, Heinecke accepted the award at a gala event in New York, where HOTELS celebrated both their corporate and independent Hotelier of The World award winners.From humble beginnings in Thailand, he spearheaded the growth of Minor Hotels as a hotel owner, operator and investor, which now boasts a portfolio of innovative, brands spanning over 150 hotels and resorts in 24 countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, South America, Africa and the Indian Ocean, with a pipeline already in place to venture into new destinations such as Mauritius, Tunisia, South Korea and more.
In this highly prestigious individual accolade, the self-taught and self-made billionaire was applauded for his life-long accomplishments, his pioneering, competitive and entrepreneurial spirit, as well as his passion of making a difference in Thailand and beyond.
Commenting on the award, he said: “I am truly honoured and humbled to receive this award and to have my name added to the incredible list of previous winners, a true roll-call of industry leaders and pioneers. I’m thrilled to play a role in such a dynamic industry. I’m still constantly learning, finding new ways of growing our business and to do it better. I certainly have no plans to hand over the reins at Minor just yet.”
In his acceptance speech to an audience of the industry’s elite, Heinecke spoke of how the creation of Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas is the realization of a life-long dream that reflects his personal appreciation for authentic luxury in unique destinations.
His private passions are also evident in Minor’s charitable endeavours, most notably the Heinecke Foundation’s educational sponsorship of underprivileged children and the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation’s efforts to help Thailand’s elephant population, as well as to support wider environmental and community outreach programs.
Minor Hotels’ success plays a vital role in the evolution of the hospitality industry on a global platform, and looking to the future, Heinecke lauded the passion and dedication of the people he works with.
HOTELS and www.hotelsmag.com have been amongst the leading sources of news and analysis for the global hotel industry for more than 45 years, currently reaching over 90,000 hotel professionals in more than 160 countries. The magazine has been naming its Hoteliers of the World since 1981, with the list of previous winners reading like a roll-call of the hospitality industry.